'Dragon's Tomb' gives up dinosaur eggs

Saurolophus angustirostris (supplied)
Saurolophus angustirostris (supplied)

It's not quite Game of Thrones, but scientists have found dinosaur eggs in a place called Dragon's Tomb in Mongolia.

The site in the Gobi Desert has been a hotbed of discovery for Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils, the latest of which are three or four Saurolophus angustirostris babies and two associated egg shell fragments.

The find has been published in the journal PLOS ONE today by Leonard Dewaele from Ghent University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium and colleagues.

It could plug a gap in knowledge of the development of the species.

Studies of the fossils suggest the babies were from the same nest, which was originally on a river sandbank and belonged to the giant hadrosaur dinosaur species.

Their skull length was around 5 percent of the size of the largest known of the species, indicating the specimens were in their early stages of development.

They believe the perinatal bones resemble the Saurolophus angustirostris' features but don't have the cranial crest they're known for at the top of the head, and areas of the skull weren't fused yet.

Scientists aren't sure whether the babies were still in the eggs or died shortly after hatching, but they believe they were already dead and partly decomposed when they were buried by river sediment.

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