Science

This is how the hefty dinosaurs incubated without squashing their eggs

Studying the parenting ways of dinosaurs has proved to be very tough for scientists because of the less number of dinosaur fossils collected till date. However, the incubating habit of a species of dinosaur known as oviraptorosaurs has recently come to light for the very first time.

If the super hefty bird-like dinosaurs would have had sat on their eggs just like that of the other birds, the eggs would have been squashed. However, a new research tells that the species used a unique technique for the process. The recent study performed by one international team consisting of researchers from Asia and North America indicates that the dinosaurs stacked their eggs all around themselves just like a spiral. They reportedly developed a formation resembling a donut that implied that if the oviraptorosaur was humongous, its egg-ring’s diameter would be bigger and vice-versa if it happened to be smaller in size.

A researcher from the Nagoya University Museum, Kohei Tanaka, said that the eggs of oviraptorosaurs are put in a “circular pattern” having a big central opening. He explained that the oviraptorosaurs probably sat at the center of their nest, thereby not damaging the eggs by squashing them. He further added that the incubation practice never kept the unborn dinosaurs warm, but would have kept them secured from any predator or source of damage. Tanaka is the head author of a paper in the Biology Letters, which describes the incubation habit of the feathered carnivores known as oviraptorosaurs.

This distinct incubation practice came into light when Darla Zelenitsky with his team from the University of Calgary scrutinized thoroughly near about forty oviraptorosaur nests. The research team even studied carefully many fossilized eggs that dated back to the era in between some hundred and seventy million years ago. In accordance with a received report, the oviraptorosaurs showed parrot-like heads with toothless beaks. The oviraptorosaurs were far larger than even the biggest modern-day birds with a weight ranging up to four thousand pounds. The variation in their sizes could be well-estimated by seeing their nests. In certain cases, their nests were calculated to be near about sixteen inches across with the egg-rings having a little to no space. In the other cases, their nests were seen to be around eleven feet broad with the egg-rings having more space at the middle.

Zelenitsky said that the Oviraptorosaurs had adapted themselves in a way that they could sit appropriately on their nests regardless of their body size. He said that in the biggest species the egg-ring space was larger than the eggs.

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