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Oviraptor Dinosaur Nest of 6 Eggs 1.6ft


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Oviraptor nest of 6 eggs from the Kaoguo Formation in Xixia Basin, Henan Province, China and date back to the Mesozoic era, late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage around 72 to 66 million years. When a nest of Oviraptor eggs were first discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews, a great American palaeontologist, Chapman assumed the Oviraptor was stealing Protoceratops eggs, as a further skeleton of the dinosaur Protoceratops was discovered near the nest site. Because Oviraptor was a much more agile raptor, meat eating dinosaur it was assumed it had taken an opportunity to steal Protoceratops eggs, Protoceratops being a herbivore was thought to be the parent of the nest. Hence the naming of the oviraptor as an egg stealing dinosaur. This forgivable slight of the Oviraptors was subsequently put to rights as more discoveries of the good mother, or father Oviraptor skeletons were found brooding over the same ovoid eggs that Chapman originally discovered in Mongolia in the early 20th century.

Location: Xixia Basin Formation, Henan Province, China.
Age: Mesozoic era, late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage around 72 to 66 million years.

Nest measurements.
Height: 125m
Length: 483mm
Depth: 264m

Approximate weight: 18 kg approximately

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oviraptor scale

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Oviraptor nest of 6 eggs, a small clutch which were laid down concentrically in pairs, and are inclined to the ground at low angles, sloping away from the Nests centre, this is a familiar laying pattern for this oviraptor dinosaur nest. Overall the shell exhibits dark blue-grey tones on the surrounding matrix of dark rouge. The clutch of eggs are in exceedingly good condition, the textured dark shell is striking against the rouge red of the matrix. This colour matrix could have been a result of a heavy concentration of iron in the depositional silts or mud which covered over the nest in the Cretaceous. The overall condition is excellent, the eggs are not squashed, they show a very good form, being nicely oviod.

A full nest which would have completed a circular donut, concentrically laid pairs of eggs pointing up towards the centre. A now familiar way palaeontologists discover the laid and fossilised eggs of this genera of oviraptor. Since Chapman first discovered the eggs nests in the Gobi desert and with subsequent egg nest discoveries it has been found the eggs were laid down in this way. The name Oviraptor from Greek means 'egg-seizer', because the first fossil remains of the Oviraptor were found atop a nest of eggs. As further specimens were unearthed, however, it became apparent that these Oviraptors were not being predatory but actually brooding over their own eggs. It is now thought some raptors boasted full body plumage of colourful feathers, much like some birds of today.

oviraptor scale