Sexual Selection

Lessons from the ‘replication crisis’ in science:

Simulated data show that modern statistical approaches, rather than ‘significance testing’, are more reliable when searching for sexual dimorphism in the fossil record. Dinosaurs show many lines of evidence for sexual variation.

Study: Saitta et al. 2020. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (Invited Review)

Media: Discover Magazine, briefly discussed in Cosmos

My summary: The Conversation

Presentation: Palaeontological Association

Stegosaur plate variation likely correlates with sex:

Hesperosaurus (=Stegosaurus) mjosi plates show variation between wide and narrow varieties that cannot be solely explained by factors such as growth/development, ‘hidden’ species, or head-to-tail variation and is, therefore, most consistent with sexual dimorphism.

Study: Saitta 2015. PLoS One

Media: BBC, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Popular Science, The Economist, Vice, NBC News, ABC News, IFLScience, International Business Times, Live Science, World Science Festival, Der Spiegel (German), The Naked Scientists, Princeton University, briefly discussed in I Know Dino (Episode 38 “Stegosaurus & Episode 50 “Hesperosaurus) and PBS Eons

Presentation: Palaeontological Association

Hypothetical sexual dimorphism in Centrosaurus (Artwork by James Ormiston)