A close examination of several fossilized eggshells has yielded amazing results. It would seem that the dinosaurs nested just like birds.
Great archeological excavations have disclosed quite a lot of interesting facts about the great dinosaurs. Eating habits, predatorial habits, life, length, weight- pieces of information can be found inside the fossilized remains of the prehistorical beasts. Although we have gained so much knowledge regarding some of their features, we are still lacking much in the area of nesting habits.
But, it would seem that we have indeed been stricken by a bit of luck. A couple of prehistorical forensic investigators from Calgary University, have arrived to some interesting conclusions after they finished their examination on a pair of fossilized egg-shells. According to carbon dating procedures, the egg-shell are no more, no less than 150 million-years old.
The Canadian research team investigated the eggshells that belonged to approximately 29 species of large dinosaurs. According to Darla Zelenitsky, co-author to the study, most of the large land reptiles, exhibited the same nesting behavior as modern-day crocodiles. Meaning that they preferred to bury their eggs and cover them with dirt and vegetation. Still, evidence points out that certain species of dinosaurs, more specifically, a couple of theropods, fancied open nesting, just like our modern birds.
Zelenitsky explained that the open nest technique is very versatile. For instance, it can allow the dinosaur to relocate its nesting area. Thus, if ground location proved to be unsafe, the dinosaur could set up its nest on a higher location, ensuring that its offspring were shielded from large predators.
Kohei Tanaka, the lead author of the study said that the dinosaur’s nesting habits were something of an enigma for researchers. But, in the light of recent scientifical evidence, this shroud may have been lifted a bit.
The team of researchers managed to explain how different nesting techniques would impact the eggshell’s morphology. Hence, the eggs that developed underground and were covered by mud and vegetation, had a higher porosity factor, meaning that the eggshell itself allows gases and vapors to be exchanged between the outside world and the embryo. Moreover, the vegetation or the dirt covering the eggs provided an optimal temperature for the newborn.
On the opposite side, we have those dinosaurs that preferred open nesting to burrowing. Those eggshells had a lower porosity, meaning less moisture and less vapor inside the eggshell. These newly uncovered facts will prove to be quite a bounty for those who want to understand the nesting habits of the dinosaurs.