Fossilised bird egg offers clues to Brazil’s prehistoric past

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Brazilian scientists have uncovered a near-intact fossilised bird egg– Brazil’s first– in Sao Paulo State.

 As Julio Cesar de A. Marsola and his colleagues explain in the journal Alcheringa, their discovery is of great importance due to a number of reasons. Compared to the abundance of eggs from non-avian dinosaurs, discoveries of complete eggs from Mezosoic birds are somewhat scarce.

Although there were no remains found inside this particular egg, known formally as LPRP USP-0359, the team’s extensive tests revealed crucial information about both the egg itself and its wider context. Their observations show that LPRP-USP0359 is, in fact, one of the smallest and thinnest shelled Mesozoic bird eggs ever discovered.

 

Furthermore, similarities between the Brazilian egg and specimens found in Argentina indicate an affinity between them as Ornithothoraces. Due to further similarities in where and how they eggs were found, the researchers suggest that the two birds may also have preferred the same types of breeding and nesting habitats- important clues that will aid palaeontologists in creating a more detailed picture of the South America’s Mesozoic past.

 

 

 

Contributing Source: Taylor & Francis

Header Image Source:  Wikimedia

 

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