Some small dinosaurs sat like birds on their eggs to keep their growing babies warm and protect them as they evolved. But what about larger nest dinosaurs? How can an animal weighing more than a ton safely hatch its eggs?
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<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " Gigantoraptors – which could weigh as much as 1.4 tons – are oviraptorosaurs. Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images "data-reactid =" 24 " >
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<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Oviraptorosaurs roamed Asia and North America in the Cretaceous era millions of years ago, including dinosaurs such as the pea-sized Caudipteryx and the one and a half ton ] Gigantoraptor ." Data-reactid = "26"> Oviraptorosaurs roamed Asia and North America millions of years ago in the Cretaceous. The group includes dinosaurs such as the peacock size caudipteryx and the one and a half ton gigantoraptor .
"It's a really interesting group of dinosaurs," said co-author Darla Zelenitsky of the BBC's University of Calgary. "Most of them were small, probably 100 kg or less, they are very birdlike, they have a very parrot-like skull."
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Zelenitsky's team studied more than 40 nests to find out how these dinosaurs looked after their eggs. The nests ranged from 14 inches to about 11 feet in diameter for the largest species.
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Scientists believe their potato-shaped eggs might be colored blue. Larger eggs that stretch up to 20 centimeters and weigh about 15 pounds were discovered in China, the news agency AFP reported.
Oviraptorosaurs of all sizes arranged their eggs in a circular shape. Smaller species stacked them in layers, but larger dinosaurs placed them individually in large rings. The larger the dinosaur, the larger the central seat.
The researchers found that the eggs of larger species were more sensitive than their smaller relatives.
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The way birds nest today may come from these ancient dinosaurs. "The hatching behavior of birds – such as nesting and possibly breeding adults – is likely to have evolved from theropod dinosaurs," said study leader Kohei Tanaka of the Nagoya University Museum told AFP. "Our research provides additional evidence."
Modern birds do not behave like the larger dinosaurs. "It's pretty much what we saw in this group," Zelenitsky told the BBC.
Dinosaur nests like these provide a wealth of information for researchers, Lindsay Zanno of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, who was not involved in the study, told the BBC. "They give us insight into the evolution of dinosaurs … and adopt behaviors that allow them to warm or protect their eggs without crushing them with their huge bodies," she said.
This article was first written by Newsweek
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