A group of Paleontologists from India has closely examined 256 preserved dinosaur eggs in an effort to learn more about the reproduction and incubation processes among some of the largest dinosaurs ever known.
The first clutches of the eggs were discovered in 2012 and were spread throughout 92 titanosaur nesting locations in India’s Narmada Valley, north & east of Mumbai. Insights regarding the types of preserved eggs discovered in these nests as well as deductions about the dinosaurs who laid them have now been released by academics. The study was released in PLoS ONE today.
The Lameta Formation, which is found in the Narmada Valley of central India is one of the newly found dinosaur nesting sites. The dinosaur eggs discovered at the locations range in diameter from 15 to 17 cm (6-7 inches). They were laid during the Cretaceous age by titanosaur sauropods.
The eggs come from six different egg species, including Fusioolithus mohabeyi, Fusioolithus,Megaloolithus dhoridungriensis, Fusioolithus baghensis, Megaloolithus cylindricus, Megaloolithus jabalpurensis, & padiyalensis, which are all members of two egg families, Fusioolithidae & Megaloolithidae The paleontologists deduced that these dinosaurs hid their eggs in shallow holes like contemporary crocodiles based on the arrangement of the nests.
The study’s lead author, Harsha Dhiman, stated in a PLoS press release that it “offers fresh perspectives into the parameters of nest survival and reproductive tactics of titanosaur sauropod dinosaurs soon before they went extinct.”
For starters, scientists are certain that these eggs were laid by titanosaurs, a genus of sauropod dinosaurs that comprises some of the biggest dinosaurs to have ever walked the Earth. The titanosaur taxa Megaloolithus and Fusioolithus, which are known to have existed in India, were recognized by their eggs.
The researchers believe that the marshy habitat in which the dino eggs were placed had some flowing water at the time the eggs were laid. It is possible that the nesting location was close to a Cretaceous lake or pond.
There were many sizes and forms of eggs. Some of them were whole eggs. Some of them broke into eggshell fossils that date back 67 million years. Others were only the traces of eggs in the rock or were distorted, crushed, or otherwise.
Pathology eggs, an abnormal variant generated when animals are under stress, were among the discoveries. The researchers discovered some unusual events, such as eggs with numerous eggs growing inside of other eggs or shell layers.
These abnormalities can also be detected in contemporary bird species (Even you must have experienced this at some point, like when you cracked open an egg and find a double yolk).
The diseased eggs suggest titanosaurs may have laid eggs consecutively, similar to modern birds like chickens. The crew uncovered plenty of petrified eggshells and nests, but no dinosaurs. No dinosaur remains, including those of hatchlings and full-grown titanosaurs, were discovered close to the nesting places for any of the eggs.
Paleontologist Guntupalli Prasad of the University of Delhi in India stated to Gizmodo, “according to taphonomic (preservation) theory point of view, it could be feasible that this location was just for nesting and not for residential purposes.” or maybe The bones “could not be preserved, or are deeply buried, or are still unexposed & yet to be discovered,”
Also without titanosaur bones, the locations are illuminating dinosaur reproductive biology, an area where scientists currently lack significant knowledge. After that, the team intends to return to the nesting locations and search for titanosaur teeth. In order to determine whether embryonic bones have been preserved, some of the more developed eggs will also undergo CT scans.
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