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Re: Huevos Dinosaurios

True, but some dino nests include up to 50 eggs in one clutch, that has
got to put some kind of strain on the animal.  Come on vitamin D!

-Bill Parker
Northern Arizona University

On Mon, 20 Jul 1998, Betty Cunningham wrote:

> admittedly the drain of calcium on a bird (with a very low
> egg-size-to-parent-size ratio) would seem to be far greater than that
> which would happen with most dinosaurs (with anything larger than 200
> lbs having very high egg-size-to-parent-size ratios).  
> -Betty
> William Gibson Parker wrote:
> > 
> > Calcium is not only important in animals as a structural component of
> > bone, it is also important for blood coagulation, muscle contraction,
> > myocardial function and of course the manufacturing of eggshell.  Egg
> > laying animals need supplements of calcium not only for the above
> > functions but also to keep their eggs strong and also for the animal to be
> > able to lay the egg safely.  I'm curious on how the dinosaurs would have
> > supplemented their diet with calcium.  The calcium for the eggshells must
> > come from stores in the body, chickens for example store this calcium in
> > extensions of bone.  After laying, these stores must then be replenished.
> > Of course chickens lay many more eggs than dinosaurs would have, and would
> > need to replenish this supply faster and more often.  Dinosaurs, I
> > imagine, would also need to receive calcium supplements also to insure
> > healthy egg laying and to decrease the risk of "egg-binding".  Where would
> > this calcium come from?  Are ferns and gingkos a good source of calcium?
> > Maybe they would need to do as chickens do and eat the occasional oyster
> > shell or pieces of limestone (origin of gastroliths?).
> > What about the carnivores?  There is a suspected case of gout in a T-rex
> > fossil.  How would this animal been able to reproduce with such low
> > amounts of calcium in the body.  Of course maybe this individual was
> > older, or male.  If this was a common problem with T-rex it would seem to
> > cause a terrible effect on the egg-laying capabilities of the animal.  Of
> > course these animals did reproduce so the problem must have been overcome
> > in most of the animals and low-calcium must not have been a problem.  As
> > such it would seem that most dinosaurs were getting minerals in their diet
> > from somewhere (calcareous dirt?)  Does anyone have any comment on this
> > subject?
> >  -Bill Parker
> > Northern Arizona University