The unique nesting style of dinosaurs may have been what paved way for the modern birds of today. Research has, for the first time today, explained the link between the different nesting types and the porosity of dinosaur eggshells. It’s also detailed how these prehistoric creatures nesting styles were associated with nesting patterns of birds and crocodiles.
For the past number of years, researchers have been trying to figure out how dinosaurs incubated eggs. Kohei Tanaka, a co-author of this study from Calgary University has said that it became difficult to figure out if dinosaurs buried their eggs while incubating since nest structures weren’t generally preserved as a part of fossil records.
Tanaka has confirmed that there are a lot of papers which try finding the incubation method for dinosaurs, but their research was the most comprehensive since it analyzed large datasets on eggs of both living as well as fossil species.
Using dinosaur eggs as well as nesting sites, Darla Zelenitsky, this research team studied fossilized eggshell porosity for thirty types of dinosaur species and carried out a comparative analysis where fossilized eggshell porosity as well as porosity of the eggs that belonged to one-hundred and twenty species of crocodiles and birds was studied.
After this analysis, researchers discovered that there were a few important findings such as brooding birds eggs that are incubated in open nests with low porosity. But megapode bird and crocodile eggs are very porous and they can incubate their eggs inside buried nests.
A lot of the dinosaurs had low porosity eggs and chose to bury them just how modern crocodiles do. The advanced theropods, which included birds such as the maniraptorans had high porosity eggshells which is why their eggs have to be incubated in an open nest.
The team even said that they found evidence of theropods partly burying their eggs which is why they concluded that it was only the modern birds with which open nest patterns that left eggs fully exposed begun. This revelation leads to a huge shift in incubation and nest styles between the modern dinosaurs and birds.