Eggs Embryos Nest

Marzola, M., Russo J., & Mateus O. (2015).  Identification and comparison of modern and fossil crocodilian eggs and eggshell structures. Historical Biology. 27(1), 115-133. Abstractmarzola_et_al_2015_identification_and_comparison_of_modern_and_fossil_crocodilian_eggs_and_eggshell_structures.pdfWebsite

Eggshells from the three extant crocodilian species Crocodylus mindorensis (Philippine Crocodile), Paleosuchus palpebrosus (Cuvier's Smooth-fronted Caiman or Musky Caiman) and Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator or Common Alligator) were prepared for thin section and scanning electron microscope analyses and are described in order to improve the knowledge on crocodilian eggs anatomy and microstructure, and to find new apomorphies that can be used for identification. Both extant and fossil crocodilian eggs present an ornamentation that vary as anastomo-, ramo- or the here newly described rugosocavate type. The angusticaniculate pore system is a shared character for Crocodylomorpha eggshells and some dinosaurian and avian groups. Previously reported signs of incubated crocodilian eggs were found also on our only fertilised and hatched egg. Paleosuchus palpebrosus presents unique organization and morphology of the three eggshell layers, with a relatively thin middle layer characterised by dense and compact tabular microstructure.

Castanhinha, R., Araújo R., & Mateus O. (2009).  Dinosaur eggshell and embryo localities in Lourinhã Formation, Late Jurassic, Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29(3): . 76A. Abstractcastanhinhaetal2009dinosaureggshellp.pdf

Four different localities from the Late Jurassic of Lourinhã formation with eggshells and embryos were studied: Paimogo (lower Amoreira-Porto Novo member), Peralta (Praia Azul member), Porto das barcas (Bombarral member) and Casal da Rôla (Amoreira-Porto Novo member). All but Casal da Rôla have embryonic material. Preliminary results show that eggshells from Paimogo correspond to obliquiprismatic morphotype (0.92mm thick), similar to those from Morrison Formation. Within Paimogo site a different type of eggshell was discovered, having a radial section of 153 μm with a mammilary layer measuring 65 μm. Porto das Barcas eggshells represent a discretispherulitic morphotype (1,23 mm thick).
This locality presents a nest 60-cm diameter containing many eggshells but an indeterminate number of eggs. Some embryonic bones were discovered between the eggshells including teeth and skull bones showing that the eggs belong to a saurischian, tentatively a sauropod dinosaur. Peralta nest eggshells are preliminary ascribed to obliquiprismatic morphotype (column: 0,56mm and mammilla: 0,21mm) probably related to Paimogo’s nest taxon (Lourinhanosaurus). Peralta site bears embryonic bones namely small theropod teeth associated with bone fragments, and unidentifiable dinosaur vertebra. Only eggshells have been collected at Casal da Rôla (ML1194). The eggshells (0,78mm thick) are prismatic morphotype and it was impossible to determine the pore system, the outer surface is smooth with no ornamentation.
Lourinhã formation has the oldest sauropod and theropod nest with embryos known so far.

Ribeiro, V., Holwerda F., & Mateus O. (2013).  Theropod egg sites from the Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2013. 198.ribeiro_et_al_2013_theropod_egg_sites_lourinha_svp_meeting_abstracts_213.pdf
Carrano, M., Mateus O., & Mitchell J. (2013).  First definitive association between embryonic Allosaurus bones and prismatoolithus eggs in the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic, Wyoming, USA). Annual Meeting of Vertebrate Paleontology. 101.: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2013 Abstractcarrano_mateus_mitchell_2013_allosaurus_embryos_morrison_svp_abstract.pdf

Despite more than a century of collecting, resulting in one of the best-studied vertebrate fossil records anywhere in the world, the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation has produced surprisingly few examples of dinosaur eggs associated with embryonic remains. Even more puzzling, none of these seem to pertain to the theropod Allosaurus, one of the most common and best-understood dinosaur taxa in the formation. Here we
report on a dinosaur nest site that has produced both abundant prismatoolithid eggshell and embryonic (or perinatal) bones of Allosaurus from Fox Mesa, Wyoming. This represents the first such discovery for any theropod in the Jurassic of North America. The nest is heavily weathered but contains a few ellipsoid eggshell clusters that suggest an egg size of about 8 x 6.5 cm. Study of the eggshell morphology and microstructure confirms that a single egg type is present throughout, which is indistinguishable from Prismatoolithus coloradensis. All of the identifiable embryonic materials pertain to theropods, and two premaxillae specimens show the five alveoli diagnostic for Allosaurus among Morrison theropods. This confirms the theropod origin of Prismatoolithus eggs and implicates Allosaurus as the specific Morrison parent taxon. As a result, it is now possible to assign several previous discoveries of dinosaur eggs and potential nests to Allosaurus, including the isolated egg from the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry. This discovery
also calls into question prior assignments of Prismatoolithus eggs to ornithopods, and suggests that more detailed study of such sites is warranted. Prismatoolithus eggshells are also associated with the Upper Jurassic theropod Lourinhanosaurus from Portugal, along with larger embryos that exhibit four premaxillary alveoli.

Ribeiro, V., Mateus O., Holwerda F., Araújo R., & Castanhinha R. (2014).  Two new theropod egg sites from the Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Historical Biology. 26(2), 206-217. Abstractribeiro_et_al_2014_theropod_eggs_nest_portugal.pdfWebsite

Two new Late Jurassic (uppermost Late Kimmeridgian) dinosaur eggshell sites are described, Casal da Rola and Porto das Barcas, both near Lourinha˜, central-west Portugal. Casal da Rola yields eggshells with an obliquiprismatic morphotype comparable to those from a nest with the associated fossil embryos from Paimogo, tentatively assigned to the theropod Lourinhanosaurus antunesi. The Porto das Barcas eggshells have a dendrospherulitic morphotype with a prolatocanaliculate pore system. This morphotype was also recognised in eggshells from a clutch with associated Torvosaurus embryos at the Porto das Barcas locality. A preliminary cladistic analysis of eggshell morphology suggests theropod affinities for the Casal da Rola eggs, but is unable to resolve the phylogenetic position of the Porto das Barcas eggs. The eggshells at both sites are preserved in distal flood plain mudstones and siltstones. Carbonate concretions within the deposits indicate paleosol development.

Araújo, R., Castanhinha R., Martins R. M. S., Mateus O., Hendrickx C., Beckmann F., Schell N., & Alves L. C. (2013).  Filling the gaps of dinosaur eggshell phylogeny: Late Jurassic Theropod clutch with embryos from Portugal. Scientific Reports. 3(1924), , 2013/05/30/onlin: Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved Abstractaraujo_et_al_2013_filling_the_gaps_of_dinosaur_eggshell_phylogeny_late_jurassic_theropod_clutch_with_embryos_from_portugal.pdf

The non-avian saurischians that have associated eggshells and embryos are represented only by the sauropodomorph Massospondylus and Coelurosauria (derived theropods), thus missing the basal theropod representatives. We report a dinosaur clutch containing several crushed eggs and embryonic material ascribed to the megalosaurid theropod Torvosaurus. It represents the first associated eggshells and embryos of megalosauroids, thus filling an important phylogenetic gap between two distantly related groups of saurischians. These fossils represent the only unequivocal basal theropod embryos found to date. The assemblage was found in early Tithonian fluvial overbank deposits of the Lourinhã Formation in West Portugal. The morphological, microstructural and chemical characterization results of the eggshell fragments indicate very mild diagenesis. Furthermore, these fossils allow unambiguous association of basal theropod osteology with a specific and unique new eggshell morphology.

Araújo, R., Castanhinha R., Mateus O., & Martins R. (2012).  Late Jurassic theropod embryos from Porto das Barcas, Lourinhã formation, Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2012, ISSN 1937-2809 . 57. Abstractaraujo_et_al_mateus_2012_dinosaur_eggs_portugal_svp_2012_abstract_book_meeting_abstracts.pdf.pdf

A clutch of several crushed eggs and embryos from the Late Jurassic (near the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian
boundary), Lourinhã Formation, Portugal contains a complete maxilla, erupted and scattered teeth,
and presacral vertebrae. The maxilla bears four teeth separated by individualized interdental plates,
the dorsal process of the maxilla is confluent with the maxillary body, the ventral rim of the antorbital
fossa is parallel to the tooth row, and the anterior border of the maxilla forms a right angle with the
ventral margin. The teeth are conical and recurved distally with carinae on mesial and distal sides. The
vertebrae are amphiplatyan, with a ventral pair of neurovascular foramina and heavily pitted articular
facets. These fossils allow unambiguous association of basal theropod osteology (Megalosauroidea) with
a new eggshell morphotype. Synchrotron micro-computed tomographic scanning (SRμCT), scanning
electron microscopy, and thin-sections under polarized and normal light revealed that the outer
ornamentation of the eggshell is composed of anastomosing ridges and islets, the pores communicate
near the outer region of the eggshells, and in radial section they are irregular canals that ramify towards
the surface. Micro-proto induced x-ray emission (micro-PIXE) analysis of the eggshell (excluding pores)
revealed the presence of Mg, Fe, Mn (0.33%, 0.27% and 0.18%, respectively) and several trace elements,
with a corresponding loss of Ca (39.4% detected but 40.0% expected for calcite), which suggests minimal
eggshell diagenesis. The eggshells do not luminesce, which could imply that no diagenetic alteration
took effect. However, the quenching effect of Fe2+ has to be taken into consideration. Conversely,
luminescence is observed in the pores since they are filled with sediment, composed of phyllosilicates,
as revealed by SRμCT, micro-PIXE and x-ray diffraction analyses.

Martins, R. M. S., Beckmann F., Castanhinha R., Araújo R., O. Mateus, & Pranzas P. K. (2011).  Tomographic techniques for the study of exceptionally preserved dinosaur and crocodile fossils from the mesozoic of Portugal. VII Encontro Nacional de Biologia Evolutiva, Coimbra, 21 Dezembro 2011. 19. Abstractmartins_et_al_mateus_2011_tomographic_techniques_for_the_study_of_exceptionally_preserved_dinosaur_and_crocodile.pdf

Portugal is ranked within the ten countries with more dinosaur taxa and the Lourinhã Formation is known
by the Late Jurassic findings of dinosaurs and other fossils. Often, studies of the external morphological
characteristics of the fossils are not sufficient and, observations of internal structures, using non-
destructive techniques, are required. The fossils here presented belong to the Museum da Lourinhã
(Portugal) and comprise a lower jaw of a basal crocodilian (possibly a Tomistomidae), eggshells and
several vertebrae from the exceptionally well preserved in ovo remains of Late Jurassic theropod dinosaur
Lourinhanosaurus. Neutron Tomography (NT) experiments with this material has been carried out at the
Geesthacht Neutron Facility in Germany. Additionally, eggshell fragments and several vertebrae have
been studied by Synchrotron-Radiation based Micro-Computed Tomography (SRμCT) at the HARWI II and
BW2 beamlines, respectively. These beamlines are operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht at the
storage ring DORIS III at the Deutsches Elektronen–Synchrotron DESY in Hamburg, Germany. In both cases
(NT and SRμCT) complete 3D recordings have been obtained using a non-destructive procedure. The high-
quality tomographic datasets can be effectively studied through interactive digital visualization. Hence,
these visualization methods provide precious information about the 3D internal micro morphology of
fossils, like the network of the eggshell pores, often invisible in more traditional techniques, and provide a
direct window into the evolutionary history of organisms.

Castanhinha, R., Araujo R., & Mateus O. (2008).  Reptile Egg Sites From Lourinhã Formation, Late Jurassic, Portugal. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontologia de Vertebrados. , Neuquén, Argentina Abstractcastanhinha_et_al_2008_reptile_egg_sites_from_lourinha_formation_late_jurassic_portugal.pdf


Mateus, O., Taquet P., Antunes M. T., Mateus H., & Ribeiro V. (1998).  Theropod dinosaur nest from Lourinhã, Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 18, 61A., Number (Suppl. 3) Abstractmateus_et_al_1998_theropod_dinosaur_nest_from_lourinha_portugal_svp.pdfWebsite

More than 100 well preserved dinosaur eggs have been discovered in the Upper Jurassic levels (Tithonian) of Lourinhã, Portugal. The eggshels dispersed in a big area with 11 meters in the highest diameter with high concentration in the middle.