June 16, 2024

Belonging to Some of the Largest Dinosaurs Ever: Researchers Uncover 92 Fossil Nests

Information of dinosaur reproductive habits can be challenging to determine. These fossil nests offer a wealth of information about a few of the biggest dinosaurs in history, and they originate from a time quickly before the age of dinosaurs pertained to an end. The insights gleaned from this study contribute considerably to paleontologists understanding of how dinosaurs developed and lived.
Harsha Dhiman, the lead author of the research, includes: “Our research study has actually revealed the existence of a comprehensive hatchery of titanosaur sauropod dinosaurs in the study location and provides brand-new insights into the conditions of nest preservation and reproductive techniques of titanosaur sauropod dinosaurs simply before they went extinct.”
Guntupalli V.R. Prasad, co-author and leader of the research group, adds: “Together with dinosaur nests from Jabalpur in the upper Narmada valley in the east and those from Balasinor in the west, the brand-new nesting sites from Dhar District in Madhya Pradesh (Central India), covering an east-west stretch of about 1000 km, constitute among the largest dinosaur hatcheries on the planet.”
Referral: “New Late Cretaceous titanosaur sauropod dinosaur egg clutches from lower Narmada valley, India: Palaeobiology and taphonomy” by Harsha Dhiman, Vishal Verma, Lourembam R. Singh, Vaibhav Miglani, Deepak Kumar Jha, Prasanta Sanyal, Sampat K. Tandon and Guntupalli V. R. Prasad, 18 January 2023, PLOS ONE.DOI: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0278242.
Funding: HD– Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship from Council of Scientific & & Industrial Research, New Delhi. GVRP– JC Bose Fellowship from Science and Engineering Research Board, New Delhi. The funders had no function in study style, information collection and analysis, choice to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

(B) Almost completely intact circular summary of the egg perhaps suggesting it to be unhatched and no loose eggshells are found in the clutch P6. (C) Compressed egg from clutch DR10 showing hatching window (arrow proving space) and a couple of eggshells collected simply around the hatching window (circled around) which possibly represent the remnants of hatching window. (D) Egg from clutch P26 showing curved summary. (E) Deformed egg from clutch P30 revealing egg surfaces slipping past each other. Specific pathologies found in the eggs, such as a rare case of an “egg-in-egg”, suggest that titanosaur sauropods had a reproductive physiology that parallels that of birds and possibly laid their eggs in a consecutive manner as seen in contemporary birds.

(C) Compressed egg from clutch DR10 revealing hatching window (arrow showing gap) and a couple of eggshells gathered just around the hatching window (circled around) which perhaps represent the residues of hatching window. (D) Egg from clutch P26 showing curved outline. (E) Deformed egg from clutch P30 showing egg surfaces slipping past each other.
Fossilized eggs supply insights into the reproductive, nesting, and early life behaviors of the titanosaur.
The discovery of over 250 fossilized eggs supplies a wealth of details about the lives of titanosaurs in the Indian subcontinent, according to a research study just recently released in PLOS ONE by Harsha Dhiman of the University of Delhi and his team.
The Narmada Valley in central India is well-known for its Lameta Formation, which holds fossils of dinosaur skeletons and eggs from the Late Cretaceous Period. Recent excavation in the location uncovered 92 nesting sites filled with 256 fossilized eggs belonging to the titanosaurs, a few of the largest dinosaurs to ever exist. Through a thorough assessment of these nests, Dhiman and his group were able to acquire brand-new understanding about the lifestyles of these dinosaurs.
It is inferred that a few of the clutches were laid close to the banks of the water bodies (lakes/ponds) while others were transferred far from the lakes or ponds. The clutches laid close to the margins were susceptible to frequent submergence by water and thus got buried under sediment and remained unhatched, while the clutches laid away from the margins might hatch and for this reason revealed more broken eggshells. Credit: Dhiman et al., 2023, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0
The authors identified 6 various egg-species (oospecies), recommending a greater variety of titanosaurs than is represented by skeletal remains from this region. Based on the design of the nests, the group presumed that these dinosaurs buried their eggs in shallow pits like modern-day crocodiles. Certain pathologies discovered in the eggs, such as a rare case of an “egg-in-egg”, show that titanosaur sauropods had a reproductive physiology that parallels that of birds and possibly laid their eggs in a consecutive way as seen in modern-day birds. The presence of numerous nests in the same area suggests these dinosaurs displayed colonial nesting habits like many modern birds. However the close spacing of the nests left little room for adult dinosaurs, supporting the idea that grownups left the hatchlings (babies) to look after themselves.