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Re: A REAL consequence of egg predation?

Stan Friesen wrote:

>The larger known dino eggs, which are larger than ostrich eggs,
>are already at, or approaching, the maximum size for a hard-shelled
>The limiting factor is gas exchange through the shell (surface to
>volume ratio), much aggravated by the need for a thicker shell in
>larger eggs for support reasons.

Well, wait a minute.  The largest eggs I know of are those of elephant
birds (Aepyornis), which are MUCH larger than ostrich eggs, measuring as
much as 33 by 24 cm (compared to 16 by 13 cm for an ostrich egg).  Their
average capacity has been estimated at 9 litres.  Is ANY dinosaur egg that
big?  Surely some, even ones laid by pretty big animals, are considerably
smaller than that?  And if any dinosaur with a much larger body mass than
Aepyornis laid an egg that was only (say) ostrich-sized this could hardly
have been because of gas-exchange limitations, assuming that Aepyornis is
also bound by these restrictions.  So the question remains - why did big
dinosaurs lay such small eggs?
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          Internet: ornstn@inforamp.net