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Naturwissenschaften. 2005 Oct;92(10):477-82. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Minute theropod eggs and embryo from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand and the dinosaur-bird transition.

Author information

1
CNRS (UMR 5125, Paléoenvironnements et Paléobiosphère), 16 cour du Liégat, 75013 Paris, France. eric.buffetaut@wanadoo.fr

Abstract

We report on very small fossil eggs from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand, one of them containing a theropod embryo, which display a remarkable mosaic of characters. While the surficial ornamentation is typical of non-avian saurischian dinosaurs, the three-layered prismatic structure of the eggshell is currently known only in extant and fossil eggs associated with birds. These eggs, about the size of a goldfinch's, mirror at the reproductive level the retention of small body size that was paramount in the transition from non-avian theropods to birds. The egg-layer may have been a small feathered theropod similar to those recently found in China.

PMID:
16158273
DOI:
10.1007/s00114-005-0022-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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