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Looking at the photograph in National Geographic of the Oviraptor
specimen that is currently beleived to died protecting its eggs, I was
struck by the pretty hefty size of these eggs relative to the specimen,
and the fact that there were "at least 20" in the nest. It seems
to me that an animal of this size that could pack 20 eggs of
that size into its body at once would make the kiwi look like a wuss.
This suggests one of two things to me:
1) Oviraptor gestated and laid eggs in a sequence, laying some,
gestating some more, and laying these as well. I know that a lot of
modern birds (including the kiwi) can do this. Do any reptiles? How
many of either lay in this manner, and how large are the eggs generally
if they do?
2) Ovirpator may have been nest raiding after all. I don't know
why it would stay at the nest with impending sandstorm doom, but an
animal looking for lunch might sit right on top of the nest like that.
When it floped forward and died, I don't see why its arms couldn't be
What sort of evidence is there that these are indeed Oviraptor eggs
besides the rather circumstantial evidence of having a dead Ovraptor
laying on top of them?
[Just a guess... Aren't they shaped just like the one that had an
Oviraptor embryo in it? -- MR ]