Some dinosaur eggs took 6 months or even more to hatch: study

4A---Some dinosaur eggs took 6 months or even more to hatch: study

Eggs of duck-billed dinosaurs took as long as six months to hatch, while the eggs of larger dinosaurs might have taken even longer time to hatch, a new study suggested.

A team of researchers led by Gregory M. Erickson of Florida State University used a new technique on some rare fossils of unhatched dinosaur embryos, and determined that those embryos consumed twice as long to hatch as bird eggs of similar size.

Dr. Erickson and his team used teeth from rare 71- to 75-million-year-old fossil embryos discovered in fossilized eggs that were about to hatch at the time. They counted daily growth markers in the teeth, and calculated that growth of teeth accounted for around 40 per cent of incubation time.

Embryos of Protoceratops, a goat-sized dinosaur unearthed in Mongolia, were found to have an incubation time of around 83 days, nearly three months.

The study also suggested that the very long incubation times would have made dinosaur parents to stay in one place for a whole year to defend their eggs and young ones.

The paleontologists reported their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.