Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study provides insight into nesting behavior of dinosaurs

16.05.2013
Both moms and dads helped with incubation

A university study into the incubation behavior of modern birds is shedding new light on the type of parental care carried out by their long extinct ancestors.

The study, by researchers at George Mason University and University of Lincoln (United Kingdom), aimed to test the hypothesis that data from exisiting birds could be used to predict the incubation behaviour of Theropods, a group of carnivorous dinosaurs from which birds descended.

The paper, out today in Biology Letters, was co-written by Geoff Birchard from the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at Mason and Charles Deeming and Marcello Ruta from the University of Lincoln's School of Life Sciences.

A 2009 study in the journal Science suggested that it was males of the small, carnivorous dinosaurs Troodon and Oviraptor that incubated their eggs. However, by taking into account factors known to affect egg and clutch mass in living bird species, the authors found that shared incubation with mature young was the ancestral incubation behavior rather than male-only incubation, which had been claimed previously for these Theropod dinosaurs.

"The previous study was carried out to infer the type of parental care in dinosaurs that are closely related to birds," said Birchard. "That study proposed that paternal care was present in these dinosaurs and this form of care was the ancestral condition for birds. Our new analysis, based on three times as many species as in the previous study, indicates that parental care cannot be inferred from simple analyses of the relationship of body size to clutch mass. Such analyses have to take into account factors such as shared evolutionary history and maturity at hatching.

The group decided to repeat the Science study with a larger data set and a better understanding of bird biology because other palaeontologists were starting to use the original results to predict the incubation behavior of other dinosaur species.

"Irrespective of whether you accept the idea of Theropod dinosaurs sitting on eggs like birds or not, the analysis raised some concerns that we wanted to address," said Deeming. "Our analysis of the relationship between female body mass and clutch mass was interesting in its own right, but also showed that it was not possible to conclude anything about incubation in extinct distant relatives of the birds."

The project has helped in understanding the factors affecting the evolution of incubation in birds. More importantly it is hoped that the new analysis will assist palaeontologists in their interpretation of future finds of dinosaur reproduction in the fossil record.

Tara Laskowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gmu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>