Let's kiss!
Let’s kiss! Scott Kinmartin/CC BY 2.0

When we asked paleontologist Jack Horner why we never see dinosaurs have sex in the movies, his response was to the point: “Have you ever seen a bird having sex?”

But now in part thanks to the discovery of a new type of tyrannosaur named for Horner, we are discovering a bit more about dinosaur sex: mainly that Tyrannosaurus rex might have liked to kiss.

Researchers found recently that the new tyrannosaur, named Daspletosaurus horneri, had a snout that was as sensitive as a human finger and possibly used for a number of things, including what amounts to a dinosaur make out, according to The Guardian

Modern alligators and crocodiles—whose snouts share a similar sensitivity—vigorously rub their snouts together before mating, and the researchers said that tyrannosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus rex, might have engaged in much the same behavior. 

With modern crocs and gators, the researchers also said that the activity can often lead to “overstimulation”; they did not speculate to quite how hot it might have made tyrannosaurs.

And in addition to the kissing, the snouts might have also been useful in building nests and handling their young.

Those terrifying maws, in other words, might have also had a more domestic side.