In the 1920s, scientists found this amazing 75-million-year-old nest buried deep in the sands of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. In it were a number of long, narrow eggs arranged in a circle. This was the fossilized nest of an Oviraptor, a type of feathered dinosaur. The scientists also found the skeleton of the mother near to the nest, but at first they mistook mother and eggs for two different species. T
hey named the mother Oviraptor, meaning “egg thief,” thinking she was a predator trying to steal the eggs. The name stuck, and all dinosaurs in the same family are now called oviraptorosaurs.
INSIDE THE EGG
Scientists have found many clutches of dinosaur eggs, but not all of them contain baby dinosaurs. To find out if anything is inside, the eggs are scanned and the rock is then carefully chipped with tiny chisels or dissolved in weak acid. It can take as long as a year to reveal the tiny bones and tissues of an embryo hidden inside the egg.