Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dinosaur Nesting Site in Spain: A Family Tradition

Just in time for Easter, a recent discovery in Spain yields hundreds of dinosaur eggs!  The site, called Coll de Nargo, has revealed dinosaur fossils in the past.  What makes this discovery truly interesting is the fact that the eggs found here belong not to just one, but at least four different species of dinosaur!  It is difficult to determine exactly which species of dinosaur produced these eggs since no bones were found with them.  Because of this, much like with dinosaur tracks, names are assigned to the eggs.  The ones from this discovery have been named Megaloolithus siruguei, Cairanoolithus roussetensis, Megaloolithus aureliensis, and Megaloolithus baghensis.  Judging by the shape of the eggs, they were likely from sauropods, which were the giant, plant-eating, long necked dinosaurs. 

Don't worry, Mr. Easter Bunny!  Its a plant eater and won't shouldn't hurt you. 

Another interesting thing about this site is that not all the eggs are from the same time period.  That means that scientists can actually figure out how old the layers of rock they were found in according how far apart the fossils are from each other.  They estimate the range of time of these eggs to span between 71 and 67 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous.  What I find especially interesting is that not only were different species of dinosaur co-existing close to one another to share nesting space but they were using the same place to lay eggs for millions of years!  Talk about being passed down from generation to generation! 

Photograph of eggs from the Coll de Nargo site.  Sauropod eggs are identifiable by their almost perfectly round shape.  The largest dinosaur egg ever discovered is about the size of a volley ball, relatively small considering the size of the animal it would eventually become!

I'm not done milking this whole Easter time yet, by the way.  This Sunday is Easter Sunday and you better believe I will have an EGGcellent prehistoric animal of the week.  See you then!


"Four Dinosaur Egg Species Identified in Lleida, Spain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 Mar. 2013. Web.

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