Researchers have found an evidence of possible dinosaur nest that may have also had a babysitter to look after the young dinosaurs.
According to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers, a rock slab containing fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older individual suggested that a group of hatchlings was overseen by a caretaker.
AdvertisementThe researchers believed that this specimen might offer evidence of post-hatchling cooperation, a behavior exhibited by some species of modern-day birds. The older juvenile might well have been a big brother or sister helping care for its younger siblings.
The 24 younger animals appeared to be quite similar in size. Various observations suggested that they had already been hatched, as there was no evidence of eggshell material. Also, other paleontologists have identified even smaller individual psittacosaurs. And finally, the ends of their bones were well developed, which indicated that they were capable of moving around.
Penn's Brandon P. Hedrick said that it certainly seems like it might be a nest, but they weren't able to satisfy the intense criteria to say definitively that it was.
The paper is published in the journal Cretaceous Research.