In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists including UTM paleontologist Robert Reisz and ROM Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology David Evans, describe the reproductive behavior of Massospondylus, a dinosaur that existed in the early Jurassic period. The analysis was based on the discovery of a 190-million-year-old nesting ground, the oldest one known to date, in the South Africa’s Golden Gate Highlands National Park. This is also where the second oldest Massospondylus nesting site was uncovered. The location of the nests indicated that the dinosaur had fidelity to the nest sites, and the grouping of the nests indicated that these dinosaurs nested in colonies. The discovery of small footprints belonging to the hatchlings suggests that the young dinosaurs stayed in the nests for quite some time, where they were presumably cared for by their mothers.
Published: 9:02 pm, 12 February 2012