Megaloolithid dinosaur eggs: scrambled parataxonomy and nesting strategies

Benjamin Paul C Jentgen, Valentin Fischer, Koen Stein

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster

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The detailed study of fossil dinosaur eggshells from Upper Cretaceous continental deposits from the Hateg Basin (Romania), the Arc Basin and Argentina and from the Thanetian of the Rians Basin (France) was made in order to test the robustness of fossil eggs' parataxonomy and to reveal novel data on dinosaur palobiology. XRF, XRD and cathodoluminescence analyses attest a limited diagenesis on these fossils, which allow interpreting observed traits from a palobiological point of view. According to their microstructure, analysed eggs
mainly belong to the titanosaur-related Megaloolithidae oofamily. Measured histological variables analysed through PCA - clustering unveil a weak megaloolithid parataxonomy scheme which needs to include whole shell units morphology forming the eggshell in addition to descriptions. XRD analyses point to an almost pure calcite eggshell composition (LMC) as well as a preferential orientation of this calcite along the shell unit growth axis, the latter involving biomechanical properties of the egg. Water vapour conductance (GH2O) estimation of some fossil eggshells together with the corresponding porosity - modelled mass pairs suggest that Hateg and Arc Basins titanosaurs burrowed their nest in humid conditions. The vegetation-mount hypothesis is rejected whereas a hydrothermal environment is proposed for the Argentinian sample.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Jun 2017
EventProgressive Palaeontology 2017 - University of Leicester, Department of Geology, Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jun 20173 Jul 2017


ConferenceProgressive Palaeontology 2017
Abbreviated titleProgPal 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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