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Re: Dino embryo (fwd)
>The news report I saw last night called it an "Oviraptor", so it
>sounds like what was reported here earlier this week. My question
>is: does this mean that oviraptors weren't? The news report kind
>of made it sound that way. Have they been getting a bad rap?
Well, yes and no. Yes, the eggs they've been associated with were the next
generation, not the next meal. However, given some of the bizzare
adaptations of oviraptorid jaws, eggs (of other species as well as their
own) may have been part of their normal diet.
>My understanding was just that these eggs had been assumed to be
>Protoceratops, since it was the most abundant species in the area,
>and there were a lot of eggs, so they must be Protoceratops. then
>the opened one up, and voila' - oviraptor. This doesn't mean ALL
>of the eggs assumed to be Protoceratops are now assumed to be
>oviraptors, does it?
Actually, yes, it does. The typical elongate eggs are theropod (although
some might be from Velociraptor or Saurornithoides, as well as Oviraptor),
not ceratopsian. As Tony Thulborn (and various others) have pointed out,
true Protoceratops eggs are (probably) known. These are closely packed,
cylindrical eggs laid out horizontally, rather than sharp end down (as in
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092