When you think of dinosaur noises, you most likely think of ferocious roars like those seen in the Jurassic Park movies over the years. But, according to well-preserved throat fossils discovered in 2005, many non-avian dinosaurs might have relied on chirps instead of ferocious roars to get their voice out there.
The fossils, which were first discovered in the Gobi Desert Basin in 2005, are part of the fossilized body of a Cretaceous era ankylosaur known as Pinacosaurus grangeri. When the discovery was first made, scientists believed the well-preserved throat bones were utilized in breathing. However, now a group of paleontologists say that could have played a part in the dinosaur’s voice box, thereby controlling the noises they made.
If true, it would make this the first-ever discovery of a voice box in a non-avian dinosaur. Despite the creature being relatively distant from any bird species, the throat fossils they discovered appear to have several similarities to modern chirpers and tweeters. As such, the dinosaur likely used noises like chirps to communicate with others.
The running hypothesis is that the Pinacosaurus granger was a mix between the two main groups of reptile-like animals. These groups were formed roughly 250 million years ago. One group contained dinosaurs and pterosaurs, while the other included crocodiles and alligators. As such, the dinosaur noises made by the Pinacosaurus, and even the ankylosaur could have sounded somewhat like both groups.
These findings, as well as additional details surrounding them, were published in Communications Biology. Having a better understanding of dinosaurs’ noises when they roamed the Earth can help us differentiate between how they communicated. Because these creatures were once believed to “rule the world” knowing how they worked more intricately with each other can help researchers.
Of course, new discoveries like this happen all the time. Back in 2021, scientists uncovered evidence of a new top predator. However, these discoveries only help paint the picture part of the ways. However, additional discoveries only help fill in the blanks and clarify the picture.