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Brontomerus, the Dinosaur Scientists Call “Thunder Thighs”

hold on to your butts

In a somewhat middle-school kind of move, a new species of dinosaur, Brontomerus, has been nicknamed “Thunder Thighs” because of the large muscles that would have developed in its upper hind legs. Jeez, guys. I guess that’s one dinosaur who will be too afraid to wear corduroy pants. Then again, try to make fun of this dinosaur and it will kick you into next week. No really, that’s what the muscles were used for — kicking in self-defense. Like a ninja. A ninja dinosaur.

Bones from the new species were first discovered in Utah 1994, but only recently have paleontologists been able to piece together what turned out to be this “weird” dinosaur with the bulging thighs. Marks found on both the hip bone as well as the shoulder blade suggest that the muscles that were formed on both the hind and front legs were well-developed enough to enable the Brontomerus to really move around, which would go against the theory that sauropods just sit around all day.

“It is well established that far from being swamp-bound hippo-like animals, sauropods preferred drier, upland areas, so perhaps Brontomerus lived in rough, hilly terrain and the powerful leg muscles were a sort of dinosaur four-wheel drive,” [researcher Matt] Wedel said.

So, now we know the Brontomerus didn’t get those “thunder thighs” from eating too many snacks. Paleontologists believe that not only were these super-strong legs used to mobilize the Brontomerus, but they could provide a swift kick in the face of predators who lived alongside it, including the raptor-like Deinonychus and Utahraptor, as well as the T-Rex-sized Acrocanthosaurus.

But let’s talk about dinosaur sex. Apparently, those sexy thighs were real big with the ladies of the species, and the higher a male could kick, the more impressed the females would be. Does this mean that the females could have had their own mating habits, which included an all-dinosaur production of A Chorus Line? Is a line of Brontomerus Rockettes as hilarious and excellent to anyone else besides me? No?

Okay.

(BBC, Live Science)

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