How Giant Dinosaurs Sat on Their Eggs Without Crushing Them
Fossil nests from oviraptorosaurs show the special strategy these birdlike dinosaurs used to keep their young safe.
Imagine a hummingbird sitting on a tiny nest filled with even teenier eggs. Adorable, right? Now picture a dinosaur the size of a fully grown hippopotamus settling onto its eggs—sounds like a recipe for a dinosaur omelet.
But a new study of dinosaur nests, along with a stunning, newly revealed fossil of a dinosaur that died tending its eggs, shows that heftier dinosaurs did have a strategy to avoid squashing their young: carefully stacking their eggs in a ring around themselves in the nest.
The findings, published today in the journal Biology Letters, provide a rare glimpse into how nesting behaviors seen in today’s birds got a start among their dinosaur ancestors.
“Most likely this behavior of sitting on the nest