"Superduck," another dino excavated in 2015, was 5 tons of fun for members of the opposite sex, especially given its mate-attracting head crest. It serves as a missing link between two other known duck-billed dinosaur species: one with a huge head crest and another that had none at all.
"It is a perfect example of evolution within a single lineage of dinosaurs over millions of years," Elizabeth Freedman Fowler, of the Museum of the Rockies and Montana State University, told Discovery News.
She and her colleagues studied the dinosaur's remains and believe its head ornamentation would have been used for visual signals, letting members of its own species know whether or not the individual was of a mature age and ready to mate.
"On a crowded floodplain, you want to make sure you stay with the right (dinosaur) herd," Freedman Fowler explained. "The crests may have also helped them attract mates."
"Just like with modern birds that have big colorful feathers and dances to show how strong and healthy they are," she continued, "dinosaur crests aren't essential for the animal's life, so by spending energy growing a big, flashy crest, the animal is advertising that it's doing really well in life, and has really good genes. This attracts mates."