By Arasha Aridi/Smithsonianmag.com
In Argentina’s Patagonia region, scientists unearthed an entire community of fossilized dinosaurs with more than 100 eggs and 80 skeletons of Mussaurus patagonicus—a long-necked herbivore. These fossils provide the earliest evidence of herding behavior in dinosaurs, reports George Dvorsky for Gizmodo.
“The site is one of a kind,” Diego Pol, a paleontologist at the Museum of Palentology Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, tells Will Dunham for Reuters. “It preserves a dinosaur nesting ground including delicate and tiny dinosaur skeletons as well as eggs with embryos inside. The specimens we have found showed that herd behavior was present in long-necked dinosaurs since their early history.”
Though scientists knew that some dinosaurs lived in herds, these findings suggests that this behavior developed around 193 million years ago—40 million years earlier than previously thought, according to a press release. Their findings were published last week in the journal Scientific Reports.
Each nest was found with eight to 30 eggs and in a relatively small area, suggesting that M. patagonicus raised its young in a communal breeding ground…Read More: