This is how the hefty dinosaurs incubated without squashing their eggs

How Giant Dinosaurs Sat on Their Eggs Without Crushing Them

You may look out the window and see a cute nest filled with tiny eggs and a hummingbird ready to sit on them. The size of these formations depended on the size of the dinosaur, which meant if a dinosaur was gigantic, the diameter of its egg-ring would be larger and the opposite if the animal was small in size.

"This egg-free opening in clutches became larger with increasing species size", Zelenitsky said. Almost all modern bird species sit right on top of their eggs, though it should be noted that even the largest birds are generally smaller compared to oviraptorosaurs.

For the first time, scientists have outlined the incubating behavior of oviraptorosaurs, which is a group of bipedal feathered dinosaurs under the classification of theropods.

Zelenitsky and her team don't know yet why dinosaurs sat on their eggs. The nest is over 3 meters in diameter.

Which raises a fascinating question: How did monsters nearly as thick as a hippo brood eggs without question them?

Oviraptorosaurs were related to birds and to other two-legged meat-eating dinosaurs such as velociraptors.

Many species have been found, ranging from turkey sized to the huge gigantoraptor, which was eight metres long from beak to tail and would have towered over humans. They put their eggs around them, in a ring. While there are no immediate applications that this research lends itself to, it will better inform scientists as we find more evidence in the future, lending credence to the suggestion that found eggs may actually belong to these dinosaurs.

Reconstruction of a giant oviraptorosaur nesting.

The researchers came to those findings by studying 40 fossils of nests that were built by oviraptorosaurs, which had weights that ranged from a few pounds to around 4,000 pounds.

"Oviraptorosaurs appear to have adapted to being able to sit on their clutches, even at giant body size", study co-author Darla Zelenitsky, an assistant professor of paleontology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, told Live Science.

It turns out dinosaurs arranged their eggs around themselves in a spiral shape.

Nests contained up two 30, arranged in a "very neat ring configuration" with two or three layers carefully stacked on top of each other.

Researchers noticed that the eggs of larger species were more fragile than their smaller cousins.

Oviraptorosaurs were bizarre-looking dinosaurs. The larger the egg, the more delicate its shell was, even though the really big ones weighed nearly 13 pounds. The weight of the adult would likely have been distributed over the central opening of the nest and at least a portion of the eggs. If it was to keep the eggs warm, those that sat in the middle of the ring probably couldn't transfer heat as effectively those ones that sat directly on the eggs.

The researchers aren't sure whether the parents cared for the young after they hatched.



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