British scientists have discovered the cloaca of a dinosaur during a study. About the finding of paleontologists from the University of Bristol said in an article.
As noted, the material is about small horned dinosaurs, ptsittakosaurus. They lived in the territory of modern Asia 130 – 100 million years ago. In science, it is considered one of the most studied species. Nevertheless, the psittacosaur cloaca has never been found before.
The cloaca is the extended terminal part of the hindgut, where the udder and reproductive ducts of the urogenital system enter. This organ is found in birds, many amphibians, reptiles, as well as some mammals.
Scientists have found the fossilized remains of a psittacosaur in China. Unfortunately, the soft tissue was not preserved, so it is difficult to say what sex the dinosaur found was. Paleontologists noticed a pigmentation of the outer part of the cloaca: the lower part of the psittacosaur body was light, and the cloaca on it stood out. According to scientists, the increased concentration of melanin provided protection from microbes in this area. According to another version, it was necessary to attract individuals of the opposite sex.
British paleontologists note that it is difficult to draw any unequivocal conclusions with only one cloaca. More such findings are needed for more details.