News / Science & Technology

    Dinosaurs May Have Sat on Eggs Like Chickens

    Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, explored the unusual nesting habits of the small meat-eating Troodon dinosaur by studying the shells of fossil eggs.(Photo:Jay Im)Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, explored the unusual nesting habits of the small meat-eating Troodon dinosaur by studying the shells of fossil eggs.(Photo:Jay Im)
    x
    Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, explored the unusual nesting habits of the small meat-eating Troodon dinosaur by studying the shells of fossil eggs.(Photo:Jay Im)
    Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, explored the unusual nesting habits of the small meat-eating Troodon dinosaur by studying the shells of fossil eggs.(Photo:Jay Im)
    VOA News
    The theory that dinosaurs and birds share an evolutionary link just got stronger as scientists have discovered that a bird-like dinosaur may have incubated its eggs much like a brooding chicken.

    The study done by researchers at the University of Calgary and Montana State University examined fossilized groups of eggs from a small, meat-eating dinosaur called Troodon. The eggs were found in Alberta, Canada and Montana.

    Due to the scarce amount of evidence, paleontologists have long searched for answers about how dinosaurs hatched their young. Crocodiles, a close relative of dinosaurs, bury their eggs in nesting material, usually sand or dirt, while birds lay their eggs in the open or non-covered nests. 

    The Troodon appears to have laid its eggs vertically, with only the bottoms of the eggs buried in mud, concluded researchers in a finding that was published in the spring issue of Paleobiology.

    “Based on our calculations, the eggshells of Troodon were very similar to those of brooding birds, which tells us that this dinosaur did not completely bury its eggs in nesting materials like crocodiles do,” says study co-author Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of geoscience at the University of Calgary.

    The bird-like Troodon lived in North America 77 million years ago. Illustration by Julius Csotony, University of CalgaryThe bird-like Troodon lived in North America 77 million years ago. Illustration by Julius Csotony, University of Calgary
    x
    The bird-like Troodon lived in North America 77 million years ago. Illustration by Julius Csotony, University of Calgary
    The bird-like Troodon lived in North America 77 million years ago. Illustration by Julius Csotony, University of Calgary
    Researcher David Varricchio of Montana State University added that the eggs studied indicated only a “partial burial,” meaning “an adult would have directly contacted the exposed parts of the eggs during incubation.”

    The bird-like Troodon lived in North America 77 million years ago.

    A key to the finding was comparing the number of pores in the Troodon’s eggs to those of crocodiles and other birds that completely bury their eggs. Pores allow for respiration, and crocodile eggs have more pores than those of a brooding bird. In the case of the Troodon eggs, there were relatively fewer pores indicating the eggs may not have been completely buried.

    “For now, this particular study helps substantiate that some bird-like nesting behaviors evolved in meat-eating dinosaurs prior to the origin of birds. It also adds to the growing body of evidence that shows a close evolutionary relationship between birds and dinosaurs,” Zelenitsky says.

    The study in Paleobiology is available here.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora