April 2nd, 2021

In celebration of Easter, today’s #FossilFriday is not just an Easter egg, but a dinosaur egg! From the museum’s education department comes a replica egg from a Late Cretaceous Asian dinosaur group of oviraptors. This egg’s parents were very odd-looking ostrich-like animals. This feathered dinosaur had a large bony crested head and toothless beak, it was initially interpreted to be an “egg-thief” hence the name Oviraptor. However, it was later determined not to be so much an egg thief, but an egg protector. Only recently was a paper published proving this behaviour, describing a Chinese specimen with the adult dinosaur sitting overtop a clutch of eggs about to hatch, some eggs even still containing oviraptorid embryos inside.

Artistic reconstruction by paleoartist Zhao Chuang showing two oviraptorid dinosaurs protecting a nest full of eggs (Photo: Zhao Chuang/PNSO).
Museum replica of an oviraptorid egg.
Museum replica of an oviraptorid egg.
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