Strength in Numbers
Follow the herd!
Daniel A. Leifheit/Moment/Getty Images
Expansive bone beds where paleontologists have unearthed several members of the same species show they died — and probably lived — side-by-side.
An October 21 study in the journal Scientific Reports described the findings of over 150 fossils dating back 193 million years.
Mussaurus was a herbivorous giant that lived during the Triassic period.
They also found that the remains of neonates, juveniles, and adults were clustered together, suggesting that Mussaurus may have split up into age-specific groups in their herd.
Research suggests that Mussaurus predated larger, four-legged sauropods, and their group living may have been the key to their increase in size.
“Sociality may have influenced the early success of the first global radiation of large-bodied herbivorous dinosaurs.”
Corey Ford/Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images
Because they lived and foraged closely together, Mussasaurs wouldn’t have needed to expend as much individual energy to find sustenance while travelling long distances.
That likely led to their body size getting larger over time.
Raimund Linke/Photodisc/Getty Images
Even early animals understood that there’s strength in numbers.