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Re: Egg sizes
Matt Fraser wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Nov 1997, Davor Vrcibradic wrote:
> > Is it possible that they were live-bearing (once they
> > would, otherwise, have to lay eggs that would be above the size limit to
> > which a reptilian egg can possibly get)?
> Very interesting question. Is there an upper limit for reptile or bird
> eggs (aside from that imposed on the laying ability of the parent)?
Since all eggs need oxygen to survive, I would suspect that the
diffusive efficiency of any type of egg shell could only be stretched
to a certain limit, beyond which the surface area:volume ratio would be
insufficient. As far as hard shelled eggs go, the larger the egg
the thicker the shell needed to prevent it from being too fragile.
Could this be why most dinosaur pubic openings were suspiciously small,
relative to body size that is?
The largest modern (well, almost) bird egg I can think of
would be the Madagascan elephant bird. Although it is extinct the eggs
are occationally found buried in sand dunes, which was apparently
how they were incubated. It would be interesting to know whether any
dinosaur eggs are known to excede this egg size.