Miragaia longicollum

Monday, June 4, 2012

Only named in 2009, there is little known of Miragaia's type species, longicollum. Miragaia strikes itself out from other stegosaurs, indeed thyreopeans, because of its long neck. The neck had 17 vertrbrae, more than any other dinosaur including the sauropods.
Miragaia was discovered & named by Octavio Mateus, found in a Lourhina dig-site that dated back to the Late Jurassic. Mateus has been researching the purpose of Miragaia's long neck, & speculates that it evolved from sexual selection; a dinosaur with a long neck is more vulnerable to a fatal wounding delivered via the neck than a dinosaur with a short neck. The long neck shows a potential mate that the dinosaur, despite being disadvantaged, is still able to survive. This is evident in other dinosaur clades, most prominent in Maniraptorans, whose probably bright plumage made them easier to spot. Sexual selection also gets rid of the need to fight to demonstrate survivalability.
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