INDIA: The eggs of certain species that always go unnoticed bear information for more than 200 million years.
Fossilized eggshells that are seldom found open the door to conducting studies on the eating habits and diet of certain creatures, the climatic influences on them, and the mode of communication of these prehistoric relatives.
This study of nests and eggs has exposed the most amazing details about the lives of the long-necked sauropods that walked the area more than 66 million years ago.
Scientists in central India have discovered more than 256 fossilised titanosaur eggs and 92 nests in the Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh, suggesting that these creatures nested and lived together, similar to modern birds.
This hatchery was shared by plant-eating titanosaurs. Scientists concluded after observing the proximity of these nests to one another that these dinosaurs laid eggs in colonies, or rookeries.
The eggs, ranging from 15 cm to 17 cm in diameter, were likely to belong to a number of titanosaur species. Each nest had approximately 20 eggs.
Titanosaurs most likely left their offspring to take care of themselves after laying eggs, as they were not considered to be responsible parents.
Lead study author Guntupalli Prasad, a palaeontologist at the University of Delhi, reported, “Since titanosaurs were huge in size, closely spaced nests would not have allowed them to visit the nests to manoeuvre and incubate the eggs or feed the hatchlings as the parents would step on the eggs and trample them.”
Other researchers from institutes like the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Mohanpur, Kolkata, and Bhopal reported the discovery of ovum-in-ovo or multi-shell eggs in the Bagh and Kukshi areas of the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh.
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