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Palaeontology

Dinosaurs laid brightly colored eggs

By T.K. Randall
May 29, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments



Dinosaur eggs were originally thought to be white. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Xenophon
Scientists have found new evidence to suggest that some dinosaur eggs were a bright blue-green color.
While we know a great deal about what dinosaurs looked like, how they behaved and what the ate, palaeontologists have long struggled to determine exactly what color they were.

While some progress has been made in identifying skin and scale pigment, for the most part estimates of their appearance are based on the color of modern day reptiles and birds.

This is especially true for the color of dinosaur eggs which have long been assumed to be white.
In a recent study however animal behaviorist Mark Hauber was able to determine that the colors found in several modern day bird eggs are produced by two specific pigments, biliverdin and protoporphyrin, in combination with the calcium carbonate contained within the shells.

By identifying these same pigments in the fossilized remains of prehistoric oviraptor eggs he was then able to calculate that their eggs weren't white at all but a vivid blue-green color.

This would have provided an advantage for the species over plain white eggs as colored eggs are more camouflaged from predators and don't require as much round-the-clock protection.

The eggs of many other dinosaur species were also likely to have been similarly pigmented.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jarjarbinks 8 years ago
He's so cute!
Comment icon #2 Posted by bubblykiss 8 years ago
This still does not answer if dinosaur eggs tasted better with sausage or bacon.
Comment icon #3 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Just like chicken or other bird eggs! This still does not answer if dinosaur eggs tasted better with sausage or bacon. There were no pigs then. I think the earliest pig-like animal in it's family came ~3.4 million years ago. Almost a 62 million year wait for dinosaur eggs and bacon or sausage.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Aten 8 years ago
Isn't this like a given? I mean isn't it like saying, 'yeah looking at blah blah blah scientists think that the trees in prehistoric time were probably green' why wouldn't eggs be different colours?, just like birds eggs today. Oh and my personal guess is that the sky 'back then' was probably blue.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Isn't this like a given? I mean isn't it like saying, 'yeah looking at blah blah blah scientists think that the trees in prehistoric time were probably green' why wouldn't eggs be different colours?, just like birds eggs today. Oh and my personal guess is that the sky 'back then' was probably blue. Well ... the night sky (actual stars and constellations aside) would've looked drastically different (no to little stars) and the sun would've appeared bigger (hazer or fuzzier). This is not to say that the Sun and stars of the Mesozoic sky would look exactly the same as they do today. Astronomers a... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Lilly 8 years ago
...It has also been theorized to have been reddish blue... Most people call that 'purple'.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Zalmoxis 8 years ago
That's real cool. When I was a kid I found a nest of pinkish-red eggs when climbing a tree. Didn't touch them. RIB NOB


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