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Titanosaur nesting and egg incubation like megapodes (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper in PeerJ:

E. Martín Hechenleitner, Gerald Grellet-Tinner & Lucas E. Fiorelli (2015)
What do giant titanosaur dinosaurs and modern Australasian megapodes
have in common?
PeerJ 3:e1341
doi:  https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1341

Titanosauria is a globally distributed clade of sometimes extremely
large Mesozoic herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs. On the basis of current
evidence these giant dinosaurs seem to have reproduced in specific and
localized nesting sites. However, no investigations have been
performed to understand the possible ecological and geological biases
that acted for the selection of these nesting sites worldwide. In this
study, observations were performed on the best-known Cretaceous
nesting sites around the world. Our observations strongly suggest
their eggs were incubated with environmental sources of heat, in
burial conditions. Taking into account the clutch composition and
geometry, the nature and properties of the sediments, the eggshells’
structures and conductance, it would appear that titanosaurs adopted
nesting behaviors comparable to the modern Australasian megapodes,
using burrow-nesting in diverse media and mound-building strategies.