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Could Dinosaurs Roar? Fossil Voice Box Hints T. Rex Tweeted

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By    |   Thursday, 13 Oct 2016 09:56 AM

Could dinosaurs roar? A fossilized voice box found by researchers two decades ago isn't telling, but the scientists suggest the beasts didn't make all the threatening sounds heard during the "Jurassic Park" movies.

The vocal organ, called a syrinx, was discovered in a fossil of the Vegavis iaai, an ancient bird that lived during the Cretaceous Period some 66 million years ago, according to University of Texas news. A team from the Argentine Antarctic Institute found the fossil on Antarctica's Vega Island in 1992.

Julia Clarke, a paleontologist at UT's Jackson School of Geosciences, discovered the fossilized syrinx in 2013. Researchers have worked the past two years attempting the identify samples of a syrinx in other dinosaur fossils but haven't found any.

"This finding helps explain why no such organ has been preserved in a non-bird dinosaur or crocodile relative," Clarke said. "This is another important step to figuring out what dinosaurs sounded like, as well as giving us insight into the evolution of birds."

The work by Clarke and other researchers was published in the science journal Nature.

They found that after making a 3D model of the ancient syrinx, it resembled that of today's duck or goose, noted the Daily Mail.

Researchers found that crocodiles, which along with birds share an ancestry with dinosaurs, produce vocal tracts much like birds, creating "songs" rather than roars.

"The findings could also suggest that dinosaurs, which share an ancestor with modern birds and crocodilians known as Archosaurs, may also have communicated in the same way," said the Daily Mail's  Shivali Best. "This raises the prospect of the Jurassic period being filled with dinosaur song rather than roars."

"Vocal tract resonance, also known as formant frequencies, are used by birds to produce their distinctive harmonic songs while humans use them to shape syllables, particularly when singing. They are caused by air trapped in the vocal tract vibrating," Best continued.

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Could dinosaurs roar? A fossilized voice box found by researchers two decades ago isn't telling, but the scientists suggest the beasts didn't make all the threatening sounds heard during the "Jurassic Park" movies.
dinosaurs, roar, fossil, voice box
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2016-56-13
Thursday, 13 Oct 2016 09:56 AM
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