Answer Man

It took awhile for dinosaurs to hatch

A closer look at the T. rex after dinosaur fossil discovery

The fossilized remains of new horse-sized dinosaur "Timurlengia euotica" reveal how the Tyrannosaurus rex and its close relatives became top predators, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding in Uzb
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The fossilized remains of new horse-sized dinosaur "Timurlengia euotica" reveal how the Tyrannosaurus rex and its close relatives became top predators, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding in Uzb

Q: I have some friends who are wondering how long it took dinosaur eggs to hatch. Our teacher doesn’t know.

S.F., of Troy

A: Hard to imagine, but Mr. Brontosaur and Mrs. T-Rex probably had to sit on their eggs for months, far longer than once believed.

Because today’s birds are thought to have evolved from the dinosaur family, scientists assumed that dinosaurs emerged from their eggs relatively quickly — say, 11 to 85 days like today’s avians. But a study last year of the teeth from fossilized dinosaur embryos revealed that the eggs of non-flying dinosaurs took many months to hatch, according to a research team from Florida State University, the University of Calgary and the American Museum of Natural History.

Using a powerful microscope, scientists examined the von Ebner lines in the teeth of two extremely well-preserved embryos — one of the pig-sized Protoceratops and the other of the much larger duck-billed Hypacrosaurus.

“These are the lines laid down when any animal’s teeth develops,” said Florida State’s Gregory Erickson, the study’s lead author. “They’re kind of like tree rings, but they’re put down daily. So we could literally count them to see how long each dinosaur had been developing.”

They found that the Protoceratops embryo was about three months into its development while the larger Hypacrosaurus was six months. Scientists also suggest that the extended incubation period may have hastened the demise of non-avian dinosaurs because both eggs and the parents would have been more exposed to predators, starvation and climatic changes.

Today’s trivia

In 1833, who published a revised version of the Bible that cleaned the Good Book of bad grammar, obsolete words and expressions that might be particularly offensive to females?

Answer to Sunday’s trivia: According to the U.S. Treasury, “In God We Trust” first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin after Congress approved the minting of the coin on April 22, 1864. It came in response to appeals from citizens in the North who felt the Union should place the motto on its coins out of increased religious sentiment that they hoped would curry favor with the Deity to help the United States become one again. However, it did not become the national motto until 1956, when it replaced the unofficial “E pluribus unum (out of many, one)” that was placed on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782. Ironically, the southern state of Florida adopted it as its official motto in 1868 to replace its original “In God is our Trust.”

Roger Schlueter: 618-239-2465, @RogerAnswer

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