A team of researchers from Delhi University has discovered 10 dinosaur eggs in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district. Among the mix is a unique egg which indicates that the species in India reproduce like birds.
The eggs were discovered in Dinosaur Fossil National Park and belong to a species of titanosaurs, a group of sauropod dinosaurs. The eggs have been found to be one within the other, a condition known as ovum-in-ovo or multi-shelled eggs.
The findings of the discovery have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. “The discovery of ovum-in-ovo egg from a Titanosaurus dinosaur nest suggests that their oviduct morphology was similar to that of birds, opening up the possibility for sequential laying of eggs in this group of sauropod dinosaurs,” researchers said in the paper.
The Dhar region made news in 2007 when the first evidence of titanosaur species roaming in the area was discovered. Since 2007, conservation work has been going on in the area. Researchers said that the new find indicates that the ovum-in-ovo pathology is not unique to birds and sauropods share a reproductive behavior very similar to that of other archosaurs.
The team of scientists found 52 nests of titanosaur sauropods near the national park during their dig.
Paleontologists have said that bird-like behavior has been observed in the fossil record of dinosaurs in the form of nest construction and evidence of parental care especially in derived theropods, while other dinosaurs, such as hadrosaurs and sauropods, spent their time building communal nests and excavated bowl-shaped clutches.
The eggs were found in the sandy limestone/calcareous sandstone in the lower Narmada valley. Meanwhile, during multiple field works conducted by the authors in the Bagh-Kukshi areas of the Dhar District of MP, 108 titanosaur nests were identified, which included intact clutches, isolated eggs, and several eggshells fragments.