Mother’s Day Dinosaurs
The Google doodle for the UK and Ireland today is a pair of dinosaurs (we think). The doodle has been put up in honour of Mother’s Day and the painting represents one child’s view of a mother dinosaur with its baby. At least to us, who spend a lot of the time looking at dinosaurs, this is what the drawing resembles.
Google Doodle Dinosaurs
Picture Credit: Google
Do Armoured Dinosaurs Make Good Parents?
Whether or not the non-avian dinosaurs made good parents is a topic often debated amongst palaeontologists. Like their close relatives, the birds, non-avian dinosaurs probably adopted a range of strategies when it came to looking after their young. Nesting sites discovered in the United States strongly suggest that Maiasaura, (M. peeblesorum), a Late Cretaceous Hadrosaur, fed their young and looked after them, whilst other types of dinosaur probably adopted different behaviours.
To read our post about “Good Mother Lizard”: Maiasaura and Marsh
An Illustration of a Maiasaura and Young
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
Fossils of very young Maiasaura indicate that these dinosaurs were not capable of leaving their nest and that they were dependent on the adult animals to feed them. At the other end of what is a spectrum, precocial animals are born ready to lead much more independent lives. Precocial young are able to leave the nest shortly after birth/hatching and are capable of feeding themselves. As for evidence of armoured dinosaurs and their behaviour with regards to bringing up baby, the evidence is less substantial. However, a number of young individuals of armoured dinosaurs have been found in a single bone bed. The fossils come from an armoured dinosaur known from northern China (Inner Mongolia), called Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri). If these young Pinacosaurus died together, it does suggest that these animals lived in social groups. This may have implications for parenting behaviour.
Late Cretaceous Northern China
Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang
Team members at Everything Dinosaur also recall coming across a research paper that reported upon the discovery of an adult armoured dinosaur and a juvenile being found together. Although, it is difficult to interpret the exact circumstances, the fossils could represent an adult and offspring having perished together.
An Armoured Dinosaur Themed Artwork on Display in School
Picture Credit: Bamford Academy Foundation Stage
On this Mothering Sunday, it is fitting to consider whether dinosaurs were altricial or precocial. It is likely, that just like birds, the Dinosauria exhibited a number of behaviours.
A “Handy” Illustration of a Monster Created by School Children
Picture Credit: Feversham Primary
Happy Mother’s Day.