Male pterosaurs sporting spectacular head crests were the peacocks of the dinosaur era, a study has found.
A rare fossil find has for the first time allowed experts to determine the sex of one of the flying reptiles.
The discovery confirms what many suspected, that the showy head ornaments were male features designed for courtship.
The evidence comes from "Mrs T", the nickname given to a female pterosaur preserved together with the egg she was about to lay.
Pterosaurs – favourites of Hollywood film makers – were flying reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs, some of which grew as large as light aircraft.
Mrs T was a 160 million-year-old Darwinopterus pterosaur whose skeletal remains were uncovered in Liaoning Province, north-east China.