Hundreds of dinosaur fossil eggs were discovered in northeastern Spain including four species never before seen in the region.
The dinosaur eggs were likely left behind by sauropods millions of years ago. The researchers discovered eggs, eggshell fragments, and dozens of clutches in the stratigraphic layers of the Tremp geological formation.
The area, Coll de Nargo, was a marshy region when the dinosaurs roamed during the Late Cretaceous Period. Until now, the only dinosaur egg found in the region was the Megaloolithus siruguei.
Now, however, Albert García Sellés from the Miquel Crusafont Catalan Palaeontology Institute, the study’s leader, stated that there are at least four more species. The new species are believed to be associated with sauropods. These dinosaurs boasted long necks and were among the largest to roam the Earth.
While the Coll de Nargo area is thought to be one of the most important nesting areas in Europe, the presence of hundreds of dinosaur fossil eggs is unusual. Selles explained: “We had never found so many nests in the one area before. In addition, the presence of various oospecies [eggs species] at the same level suggests that different types of dinosaurs shared the same nesting area.”
The researchers study also shows that the area was used between 71 million and 67 million years ago. Along with providing clues to the region’s past, dinosaur fossil eggs may also help determine the date of future findings in the area. The four other species found were the Cairanoolithus roussetensis, Megaloolithus aureliensis, Megaloolithus siruguei, and Megaloolithus baghensis.
Selles explained that different types of dinosaur fossil eggs have been discovered at specific time intervals throughout the stratigraphic layers of the region. He added, “This allows us to create biochronological scales with a precise dating capacity.” Essentially, the oospecies discovered in Coll de Nargo helped determine the age of the site.
The findings surrounding the hundreds of dinosaur fossil eggs were published in the journal Cretaceous Research.
[Image by Daderot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]