New oviraptorid embryos from Bugin-Tsav, Nemegt Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Mongolia, with insights into their habitat and growth

David B. Weishampel, David E. Fastovsky, Mahito Watabe, David Varricchio, Frankie Jackson, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, Rinchen Barsbold

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Abstract

Eggs containing well-preserved skeletons were collected from Bugin-tsav, an Upper Cretaceous locality in the Nemegt Formation, Ömnögov' Aimag, Mongolia. These embryos, found in a weathered nest of eggs, are oviraptorid theropods. Eggshell morphotype is Elongatoolithidae, typical of theropods, including basal birds. Bone histology indicates that all embryos were probably close to hatching, based on the degree of ossification and in comparison with ossification patterns in living birds. Maturity of ossification indicates that oviraptorids hatched at a precocial stage of development. Two of the embryos are relatively large, while the other is 25% smaller, suggesting that size disparity of hatchlings in oviraptorids may be a consequence of asynchrony in egg laying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Weishampel, D. B., Fastovsky, D. E., Watabe, M., Varricchio, D., Jackson, F., Tsogtbaatar, K., & Barsbold, R. (2008). New oviraptorid embryos from Bugin-Tsav, Nemegt Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Mongolia, with insights into their habitat and growth. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 28(4), 1110-1119. https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634-28.4.1110