Impressive parental care
The discovery of fossilized egg-filled dinosaur nests belonging to the Hadrosaur Maiasaura gives new light on the life-styles of dinosaurs. Grouped nests were found in a single layer of sediment, implying that they were all built in the same year. These nests were spaced at an average of 7 metres apart:- about the size of an adult Maiasaura. Some bird species lay their eggs close enough together for maximum mutual protection, yet far enough apart so that they can move easily past their neighbours. Tiny eggshell fragments within the nests suggested that baby dinosuars remained in the nests to be cared for and fed by their mother. Had the Maiasaur simply hatched and wandered off to fend for themselves, the shells would be broken in a few large pieces rather than smashed into fragments. It is now accepted that these hadrosaurs nurtured and protected their young, probably feeding them by mouth like young birds until they were strong enough to leave the nests.