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CNN: Dinosaur Eggs, and a Surprise, Unearthed in the Patagonian Desert



These are excerpts from a VERY long piece on CNN's Custom news
http://customnews.cnn.com/cnews/pna.show_story?p_art_id=3610425&p_section_name=Sci-Tech&p_art_type=652817&p_subcat=Arch.+%26+Paleontology&p_category=Sciences
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Dinosaur Eggs, and a Surprise, Unearthed in the Patagonian Desert
AP 10-APR-99 AUCA MAHUIDA, Argentina (AP) -- 

<snip>
 One morning last month, Chiappe (pronounced "kee-AH-pay") shook a can
of fluorescent red paint and sprayed a broken line 6 feet below the
crest of a steep  butte. The line meant "tear here." <snip> For answers,
the scientists needed to unearth the site as it had been when the eggs
were laid somewhere between 70 and 90 million years ago. That was the
main task for the expedition headed by Chiappe, an associate curator of
vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
County.  The expedition was organized by that institution and the Carmen
Funes  Municipal Museum of Plaza Huincul, Argentina. 
 <snip>
 Whisking away dirt with her brush, Chapman followed the tail as it
curved to the right into the hill. In a half hour, the exposed tail
lengthened to 2 feet, with no sign  where it would end. It was becoming
clear that the remains were of an adult lying on its right side.  They
didn't belong to a four-footed plant eater such as the ones that laid
the  eggs. Perhaps they belonged to a two-legged plant eater called an
ornithischian, or perhaps even a meat-eating theropod. <snip> But as he
worked his way back down the tail to expose more chevrons, he grew
puzzled. Usually chevrons are all the same shape. But on this animal,
one curved like a boomerang and the next one was straight. Some were
connected to the tailbones in unexpected places. <snip>  By lunchtime, a
4-foot-long section of tail was exposed, and the 2-foot-long pelvis lay
in the dirt like half-buried ancient pottery. <snip> Following the
dinosaur bones into the hill, Coria and coworkers uncovered a
club-shaped ischium bone extending from the pelvis; a right leg and
foot; ribs; neck bones; a left shoulder. There was also a diminutive
left arm with a claw. The upper arm was about the width of two fists.
<snip>  They'd found only a couple dozen tiny fragments. If they came
from the skull, it was too damaged to recover this way. The diggers
would wait for an expert on fossil preparation who might be able to
assemble this jigsaw puzzle.
<snip>           
 Near the egg quarry, Janoo, a 42-year-old researcher from the American
Museum of Natural History in New York, made a startling discovery: small
bones on top of some eggs, almost touching them.  They didn't look
embryonic. Were they from a hatchling, indicating that the newly hatched
dinosaurs lingered at the nesting grounds? Or were they from  some
creature that had come to feast? <snip>  They'd found only a couple
dozen tiny fragments. If they came from the skull, it  was too damaged
to recover this way. The diggers would wait for an expert on fossil
preparation who might be able to assemble this jigsaw puzzle. 


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