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Gastornithid eggs from France
Sorry for the typo in subject line...
On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM, Ben Creisler <email@example.com> wrote:
> From: Ben Creisler
> A non-dino paper that may be of interest:
> D. Angst, E. Buffetaut, C. Lécuyer, R. Amiot, F. Smektala, S. Giner,
> A. Méchin, P. Méchin, A. Amoros, L. Leroy, M. Guiomar, H. Tong and A.
> Martinez (2014)
> Fossil avian eggs from the Palaeogene of southern France: new size
> estimates and a possible taxonomic identification of the egg-layer.
> Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
> DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0016756814000077
> Eggshell fragments attributed to large birds have been known from the
> Palaeogene of southern France for half a century, but reconstructing
> their original dimensions and identifying the birds that laid the eggs
> has been fraught with difficulties. On the basis of numerous newly
> collected specimens and using geometrical calculations, the original
> size of the thick-shelled eggs is reconstructed, showing that they
> were slightly larger than ostrich eggs, with a greatest length of 17.8
> cm and a mean diameter of 12.0 cm in transversal section. The
> estimated volume is 1330.4 cm3. The fossil eggs from southern France
> are thus among the largest known avian eggs, being only surpassed by
> Aepyornis and some moas. Estimated egg mass is about 1.4 kg. On the
> basis of egg mass, the body mass of the parent bird is estimated at
> between 135.4 kg and 156.4 kg, assuming that the hatchlings were
> precocial. These calculations are in good agreement with the
> dimensions and mass estimates for the Palaeogene giant bird Gastornis,
> a probable anseriform, which lived in Europe at the time the eggs were
> laid. Other large Early Tertiary birds from Europe (Remiornis,
> Palaeotis) are too small to have laid these eggs. In all likelihood,
> the large eggs from the Palaeogene of southern France were laid by
> gastornithid birds.