Oldest dinosaur nests discovered in South Africa; A Guardian science report via humanrescueintermedia

The Guardian home
Advertisement

Oldest dinosaur nests discovered in South Africa

Massospondylus nesting site – with fossilised eggs and tiny footprints – is 100m years older than any previously discovered

A dinosaur nesting site older than any discovered before suggests the creatures were caring mothers early in their evolution.

Scientists uncovered multiple clutches of fossilised eggs at the site in South Africa, many containing embryos.

They also found tiny footprints of hatchlings showing that young dinosaurs stayed in the nest long enough to at least double in size.

The nests belonged to Massospondylus, a six-metre (20ft) ancestor of long-necked "sauropod" dinosaurs that lived 190m years ago.

The newly discovered nesting ground, in Golden Gate Highlands national park, is 100m years older than any found before.

At least 10 nests were uncovered at several different rock levels. Each contained up to 34 round eggs in tightly clustered clutches.

The distribution of the nests indicated that dinosaurs returned repeatedly to the same spot to lay their eggs.

Their highly organised nature suggests the mothers may have arranged their eggs carefully after laying them, according to the research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Even though the fossil record of dinosaurs is extensive, we actually have very little fossil information about their reproductive biology, particularly for early dinosaurs," said Dr David Evans, curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

"This amazing series of 190m-year-old nests gives us the first detailed look at dinosaur reproduction early in their evolutionary history, and documents the antiquity of nesting strategies that are only known much later in the dinosaur record."

The scientists believe many more nests at the site, now buried in rock, remain to be discovered.

  • © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


Add –"The Code Blue" Sequence of Triaging: The Art to Rescue in REAL TIME



The Human Rescue Team

A Self Styled Laboratory of Neuroinformatics- Interlecting in Nano Age World
http://thehumanrescueteamaiimsjnutiss.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

We honored your feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: