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CNN: egg-mapping Patagonia site



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http://customnews.cnn.com/cnews/pna.show_story?p_art_id=3569663&p_section_name=Sci-Tech&p_art_type=652817&p_subcat=Archeology+%26+Paleontology&p_category=Sciences

 Scientists Map Dinosaur Egg Site
 Reuters       30-MAR-99

 BUENOS AIRES, March 30 (Reuters) - Scientists digging in Argentina's
southern Patagonian desert said on Tuesday they were close to completing
the first stage of an extensive map of a site where thousands of
dinosaur eggs were found. 

  Experts say the mapping of the area will help scientists understand
the reproductive patterns of dinosaurs. 

  "It will be the largest survey work of dinosaur eggs," Rodolfo Coria,
director of the Museo Municipal Carmen Funes in Neuquen Province told
Reuters in a telephone interview. 

 "We are going to publish a map with the position of all the eggs and
there has never been a map like that." 

 The survey is the latest stage in the excavation of a find made two
years ago that grabbed international attention when scientists revealed
the first discovery of dinosaur embryos in the southern hemisphere. 

 The eggs belong to what Coria calls the "typical Latin American"
Titanosaurus species and are about 80 million years old. They are
sauropod dinosaurs, towering creatures that had a long tail, a long
neck, a small head and four elephant-type legs. 

 Coria said the first stage was to map a "sector" containing 200 of the
dinosaur eggs, most of which have embryos. The sector is 11 miles (17.7
km) long and between 3 miles and 4 miles (5 km-7 km) wide. 

 After the four-week mapping exercise, the researchers will get down to
analysing their findings. 

 "Evidently it was a place the dinosaurs chose to deposit their eggs,"
Coria said, adding that it was too early to be able to call it a nest. 

 The area, which is now arid and desert-like, was lush grassland 80
million years ago similar to the pampas around Buenos Aires. 

 Last November, Coria and his colleagues from the American Museum of
Natural History in New York first reported their discovery in a place
called Auca Mahuida in Argentina's Neuquen province. They have dubbed
the site "Auca Mahuevo" after "huevo" -- the Spanish word for egg. 

 Coria said relatively few dinosaur remains have been found in
Patagonia, but a growing number of discoveries have been made including
the remains of four or five large flesh-eating dinosaurs in the same
region.
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