Dinosaurs made colorful eggs. Birds lay colorful eggs. You make matte. But actually, but: A study from last year showed…
Dinosaurs made colorful eggs. Birds lay colorful eggs. You make matte.
But actually, but: A study from last year showed that oviraptors, a dinosaur at the end of the Cretaceous period, brought blue-green eggs, containing the same pigment as modern bird eggs. This made researchers wonder if birds developed colored eggs on their own, or if they inherited egg color from an old ancestor. A new analysis shows that egg colors appear to have evolved once, and that birds retain this feature from their therapy days.
“Here we can only show another case that many characteristics are unique to Birds have their roots much deeper in dinosaur history,” said Mark Norell, Division of Palaeontology at the American Museum of Natural History, Gizmodo.
Researchers found earlier evidence that oviraptor dinosaurs had pigments in their eggs just like birds do. They discovered this by cutting a piece of a dinosaur eggplant and putting it through a molecular-detection mass spectrometer. But for this latest survey, two researchers from the first paper together with Norell hoped to analyze much more samples, so they needed a method that did not require damage to the fossils.
“The method was the key to the whole paper,” said Jasmina Wiemann, Yale doctoral student, Gizmodo.
The team collected 1
9 egg shells from archosaurs, the group that includes crocodiles and dinosaurs, both extinct and alive (including chickens). Instead of sampling eggs, they used the Raman spectroscopy – which hit the samples with a laser and discovered the wavelengths of the light bouncing back. The colors of the scattered light reveal the molecules present in the egg.
Both pigments found in today’s bird egg, maroon protoporphyrin IX and blue-green cariverdin were also found in teropodgs (direct bird feathers) that had discovered and dotted patterns as bird eggs make. Pigment was not found in crocodile, sauropod or ornithischian eggs (the other two dinosaurs), according to the study published in Nature. By mapping the distribution of egg color on the evolutionary tree and determining which eggs were colored and which were not. The researchers found that their data supported the hypothesis that egg color was developed once.
But why? Wiemann and Norell both predicted that the appearance of egg color stems from theropodes that no longer put their eggs in underground or covered beans. An open dwelling meant that mixed eggs had a better shot of surviving than strong white eggs did – or in other cases, theropods might need to recognize their own eggs if another animal slammed an egg in the estate. An animal specialist who was not involved in the study, Professor Mary Caswell Stoddard in Princeton, thought the research would ignite conversations about dinosaur behavior.
“The exciting discovery that pigmented egg shells developed in nonavian theropod dinosaurs will change how we think of dinosaurs nesting and incubation behavior,” she said. “What were the features of different eggshell colors and patterns? Was they for camouflage? Heat regulation? Or, like some parasitic birds, to imitate the appearance of a host’s egg? These are just some of the questions that behavioral ecologists and palaeontologists will ask about in the coming years. “
This is also what Wiemann hopes to investigate when-what theropodes had colored eggs and which, and how the bird’s nest corresponds to egg color. The researchers will now need a larger selection of eggshells to analyze.
Once again birds live dinosaurs. This result is another example that shows that.