|Dinosaur nests and the
behavior of parents and babies at the nest site are another hot research
topic. In the late 1970s dinosaur researchers uncovered prime sites in
North America. Clusters of nests suggested dinosaurs nested in colonies,
much like some bird species do today. Nests also contained skeletons of
juveniles and, based on seeds, berries, and other plant materials found
at nest sites, researchers believe adults tended their young until they
could forage for themselves. Imagine a noisy nesting site squirming with
hatching eggs and squawking dinosaur hatchlings begging for food from
their harried parents.
Interestingly enough, not all dinosaur hatchlings were nestbound for long. Research at Montana nests suggests that while maiasaur babies relied on their 25-foot-long parents for food (left), Orodromeus babies hatching in the same area could hit the ground running and fend for themselves right away. One fossilized Orodromeus nest contained 19 unhatched eggs that contained embryos. Their parents might have been as long as 12 feet.