Titanosaur nesting strategies


E. Martín Hechenleitner, Gerald Grellet-Tinner and Lucas E. Fiorelli

Titanosauria is a globally distributed clade of sometimes extremely large Mesozoic herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs. On the basis of current evidence these giant dinosaurs seem to have reproduced in specific and localized nesting sites. However, no investigations have been performed to understand the possible ecological and geological biases that acted for the selection of these nesting sites worldwide. In this study, observations were performed on the best-known Cretaceous nesting sites around the world. Our observations strongly suggest their eggs were incubated with environmental sources of heat, in burial conditions. Taking into account the clutch composition and geometry, the nature and properties of the sediments, the eggshells’ structures and conductance, it would appear that titanosaurs adopted nesting behaviors comparable to the modern Australasian megapodes, using burrow-nesting in diverse media and mound-building strategies.
Hechenleitner et al. (2015),What do giant titanosaur dinosaurs and modern Australasian megapodes have in common? PeerJ 3:e1341; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1341