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Re: Dinosaur clutch sizes



On Dec 6,  5:12pm, Jeff Poling wrote:

>    Dr. Thomas Hetherington of Ohio State University points this out in his
> dino class.  Known dinosaur clutches (as of 1995) were more along the lines
> of birds and mammals, rather than "typical" reptiles.

Yes, the largest clutch I know about is 26 - more than any bird I can
think of but small in modern non-avian reptiles terms for a large
animal.  I don't think clutch size is directly related to metabolism
except that modern endotherms have obligate parental care..  (so do
many ectotherms of course, and this seems to result in small clutches
in many cases).  If there were dinosaurs with no parental care (no
nest guarding for instance) there seems nothing to prevent clutches of
100 plus eggs, and it appears we don't see this.  No way of telling if
multiple clutches were laid, sadly.

The data from birds, crocodiles, Oviraptor, Maisaurs etc seems to indicate
nesting with guarding as an ancestral archosaur trait.

Tony Canning
tonyc@foe.co.uk