Several million years after the dinosaurs disappeared on Earth, researchers remained baffled as to the reason behind their mass extinction.
Years into dinosaur research, scientists from all over the world have learned so much about these mysterious creatures. While the science community have unearthed interesting facts about these long-gone creatures, the very reason for this extinction remains a mystery.
Long Hatching Period
At least for now, a group of scientists from the Florida State University, have found clues that could possibly, or partly, explain that. The result of their study has added to the growing body of knowledge on dinosaur research.
Could the long hatching period of dinosaur eggs be the reason why they were wiped out from the face of the Earth? Gregory M. Erickson and his team, who published their study in the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, think so.
According to the team, as reported by the New York Times, they undertook the study because of the lack of understanding about their embryology. The team noted that there are few, if any, available fossils of dinosaur eggs or embryos.
New Insights on Dinosaur Extinction
The team has found evidence indicating that some dinosaur eggs took twice to hatch as compared to eggs of the same size. For example, the researchers have found that the egg of a duck-billed dinosaur took at least six months to hatch.
The hatching period of dinosaur eggs increases relative to its size. The study, noted that the hatching period is not the sole culprit behind dinosaur extinction. It, however, showed that it clearly played a crucial role their swift extinction.
Some 65 million years ago, scientists believed a huge comet struck the Earth erasing most life forms that crawl, including dinosaurs. The survival of most species of birds has provided more clues for scientist to understand the how dinosaurs have evolved.