Chapter

Nesting Titanosaurs from Auca Mahuevo and Adjacent Sites: Understanding Sauropod Reproductive Behavior and embryonic development

Luis M. Chiappe, Frankie Jackson, Rodolfo A. Coria and Lowell Dingus

in The Sauropods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780520246232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246232.003.0011
Nesting Titanosaurs from Auca Mahuevo and Adjacent Sites: Understanding Sauropod Reproductive Behavior and embryonic development

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This chapter describes the sauropod size and reproduction. It addresses the first discoveries of identifiable sauropod embryos and nests—the fantastic accumulation of fossils from Auca Mahuevo, Argentina. It also evaluates the taphonomy and morphology of this amazing assemblage of sauropod eggs. Although it is difficult to ascertain the completeness of a fossil egg-clutch, Auca Mahuevo's clutches are composed of numerous eggs, most typically from about 20 to nearly 40 eggs. The Auca Mahuevo embryos have provided evidence that may potentially clarify the sequence of transformations that occurred during the long evolution of sauropods. The discovery at Auca Mahuevo of well-preserved nest traces provided indisputable evidence of nest construction and architecture. Many megaloolithid eggs found worldwide share a similar structural morphology with specimens from Auca Mahuevo and most likely represent eggs laid by sauropod dinosaurs.

Keywords: sauropod size; reproduction; Auca Mahuevo; embryos; nests; megaloolithid eggs

Chapter.  7226 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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