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Dinosaur Eggs from Guangdong Province



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New article in Acta Geologica Sinica:

Kohei TANAKA, LÜ Junchang, LIU Yi, HUANG Zhiqing, Yoshitsugu
KOBAYASHI, HUANG Dong and Darla K. ZELENITSKY (2012)
Statistical Approach for Classification of Dinosaur Eggs from the
Heyuan Basin at the Northeast of Guangdong Province.
Acta Geologica Sinica - English Edition 86: 294–303
DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-6724.2012.00659.x
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-6724.2012.00659.x/abstract


The Zhutian and Dafeng formations (Upper Cretaceous) of the Heyuan
Basin in northeastern Guangdong Province, China, have produced
thousands of dinosaur eggs. Macromorphological features (egg diameter,
egg shape, outer surface texture, and shell thickness) of 461 eggs
were analyzed using non-destructive techniques and subjected to
statistical analyses in order to assess their diversity and taxonomic
affinities. Three types (1, 2 and 3) of eggs were discerned based on
shape and outer surface morphology. Type 1 eggs are spherical to
ellipsoidal in shape and have a rough surface. Three subtypes (Type
1-A-1, 1-A-2, and 1-B) are apparent from scatter plots and cluster
analyses of egg diameters and shell thickness. Type 2 eggs are
elongate with linear ornamentation on the surface, and are comparable
to eggs that belong to the oofamily Elongatoolithidae. Type 3 eggs are
elongate with a smooth surface, and are assigned to the oofamily
Prismatoolithidae. Macromorphological features of the various egg
types suggest that Type 1 could have been laid by ornithischian,
sauropod or therizinosaur dinosaurs, Type 2 by oviraptorids, and Type
3 by troodontids. This study represents the first comprehensive
statistical analysis of macrofeatures of dinosaur eggs, and reveals
taxonomic diversity in the dinosaurs that were laying eggs in the
Upper Cretaceous Heyuan area heretofore unrecognized in skeletal
remains.