The first titanosaur eggs were found in the 1990s in Brazil. A great interest arose about it. Today, Argentine and Brazilian scientists studied the nesting process. The remains found date back to more than 80 million years ago. Their study explains what the titanosaur nests were like.
The finding occurred in Uberaba, a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. Although it was made in the 1990s, it is only now that certain answers are available. They were published in the journal Scientific Reports of the Nature Group.
The titanosaurs were “the group of dinosaurs with the largest species that inhabited the earth,” notes Agustín Martinelli. He is the Argentine Conicet researcher who participated in the study. Dinosaur eggs measure an average of 12 centimeters in diameter. Those found in Uberaba are up to 25 centimeters long.
Lucas Fiorelli is another Argentine expert. He says that “there is a physical and physiological limit to the size of the eggs. The titanosaurs would have been colonial and generalist in their reproductive aspects. They nested in herds in a huge area, building massive nests with dozens of eggs”.
It is possible that, like sea turtles, they may have had philopatric behaviors. That is, returning to nest in the same places.
This herbivorous species inhabited all continents during the Cretaceous. In South America it was mainly in Argentina and Brazil. This is not the first time that the Uberaba area provides a key finding. In 1951 the first fossil corresponding to the Cretaceous stage was found. It corresponded to a spherical egg of a dinosaur. And it marked the beginning of archaeological research leading to hundreds of subsequent fossil finds.
Knowing what titanosaur nests looked like provides new insights into the knowledge of fossilized eggs. And it tells us about unknown behavioral traits in these dinosaurs.