Dinosaur eggshell and embryo localities in Lourinhã Formation, Late Jurassic, Portugal

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.


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.

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