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-Andy-

Protoceratops Egg?

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-Andy-

I just acquired what looks to be a very unusual egg.

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This single egg comes detached from a clutch of upright eggs in an antique shop in Singapore; owner would not reveal where it origins from. The egg is white, and covered in reddish-sand matrix that can be scrapped off with a needle. This egg measures 7.66 cm long (I lack measurement of the nest, owner wouldn't let me take more pics).

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My first thought were that these are Troodon eggs, as "upright eggs" are a characteristic of troodon eggs as far as I know.

1) Thomas(Tom) Kapitany said these looks like it came from China. He didn't personally give it an ID, but mentioned he had seen these identified as Protoceratops before.

2) Seth Sorenson said there's no way to confirm it as Troodon without skeletal material, but he said they look like small ceratopsian eggs to him. He also mentioned Protoceratops eggs have been found in standing clutches before.

3) Laogao, a fossil egg expert from China said this looks like Troodon eggs from Henan.

4) Dr. Kenneth Carpenter said these are most likely theropod eggs of the Elongatoolithus(egg oogenera) family. Without microscopic examination or confirmation of their origin, he could not give any further identification though.

With such little information, I am aware there's no way to give a definitive ID of the dinosaur that laid these eggs. I'd still like to ask for your opinions though on what you believe this egg might be.

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-Andy-

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More pics of the egg in my hand. Some of the detached egg shells are almost paper thin.

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jpc

Interesting... you have four opinions and you seek more.

#5... Ovirator. Eggs like these were originally found in Mongolia in the 1920's and thought to be Protoceratops eggs. In the 1990's a clutch of them was found under an oviraptor so they are now believed to be oviraptor eggs. I am pretty sure some embryological remains have been found in one of them. I am basing this on gross morphology and color of your egg and matrix. They could also come from China. Your dealer wouldn't say where they were from because it is illegal to export fossils from both of these countries.

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Pumpkinhead

The flaming cliffs of Mongolia in the Gobi desert have rocks that are reddish like the specimen you have here, which is relatively close to China. Somebody else will definitely know better than I do though

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MarcoSr

#5... Ovirator. In the 1990's a clutch of them was found under an oviraptor so they are now believed to be oviraptor eggs. I am pretty sure some embryological remains have been found in one of them.

Jean-Pierre

Maybe I'm too much of a skeptic, but a single nest with an oviraptor wouldn't be conclusive for me. The oviraptor could have been an egg robber. To me embryological remains would be conclusive if detailed enough. Multiple nests with oviraptor remains would be a good indication of a relationship to the eggs. Is anyone aware of any papers that detail embryological studies of dinosaur eggs similar to the specimens in this post?

Marco Sr.

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jpc

I think there have now been two, and both were in brooding position... Squating, with forearms splayed.

Edited by jpc

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Troodon

Andy the go to book with regard to dinosaur eggs is "Dinosaur Eggs and Babies" by Ken Carpenter, Hirsch and Horner. If you don't have it suggest picking one up. There is a chapter: Eggs and nests from Mongolia (asia) which has a table of the different egg types by formation. Bottom line, lots of egg types all looking very similiar to yours, so identification of an egg of your shape is going to be difficult if not impossible just based on photos and without locality. Identifying it to a family of dinosaurs even more problematic. I've attached a couple of images from the book. Chinese eggs should be very similar. You have a very nice Asian dinosaur egg, enjoy.

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-Andy-

Andy the go to book with regard to dinosaur eggs is "Dinosaur Eggs and Babies" by Ken Carpenter, Hirsch and Horner. If you don't have it suggest picking one up. There is a chapter: Eggs and nests from Mongolia (asia) which has a table of the different egg types by formation. Bottom line, lots of egg types all looking very similiar to yours, so identification of an egg of your shape is going to be difficult if not impossible just based on photos and without locality. Identifying it to a family of dinosaurs even more problematic. I've attached a couple of images from the book. Chinese eggs should be very similar. You have a very nice Asian dinosaur egg, enjoy.

attachicon.gif20151114_074822.jpgattachicon.gif20151114_074910.jpg

Haha man, you've had this book for years and it's still helping us identify eggs!

I will admit I am quite stubborn and... versatile when it comes to dino eggs. I hate not having a name for them. Truth be told, at least half of my eggs don't even have scientifically-accurate names (e.g. How do I know my Segnosaur egg is that if it doesn't have bone material alongside it?)

In the commercial market, my eggs would most likely be labelled as "Troodon". I'm trying to gather opinion to see if there's anything pointing otherwise; I respect Tom and Seth's experience, and I've also heard the ceratopsian ID being offered elsewhere.

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Troodon

Yes I know you like to have an ID on everything :D However not sure how anyone can put an ID on that shape of an egg with all the different types to choose from and no locality. So looking at figure 3 on my first photo which one is yours? The other interesting fact is that of all the different types of eggs they talk about not one mention of troodon as a possibility. Here is where you need to rely on technical analysis of the eggshell and not dealers or collectors for an ID.

Edited by Troodon

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-Andy-

Yes I know you like to have an ID on everything :D However not sure how anyone can put an ID on that shape of an egg with all the different types to choose from and no locality. So looking at figure 3 on my first photo which one is yours? The other interesting fact is that of all the different types of eggs they talk about not one mention of troodon as a possibility. Here is where you need to rely on technical analysis of the eggshell and not dealers or collectors for an ID.

The commercial name of Troodon probably stems from the Chinese, and I am -assuming- they assigned that name due to the eggs being in an upright position.

My egg seem to conform to the Prismatoolithus family, based on pics sent by Laogao. I did a quick search and found another member with a similar egg > http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/gallery/image/32499-prismatoolithus-gebiensis-wang-zhou-1995-a-troodon-egg/

In Mongolia, at least one member of Prismatoolithid family are assigned to ceratopsians, Protoceratopsidovum Mikhailov, 1994

Curses! I am a Chinese, yet most of those documents they send me are so complex I can't even digest 10% of what's being said about their eggs.

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-Andy-

http://www.126doc.com/p-37665025.html

Anyway, this is one of the better articles showing troodon eggs. Again, a big assumption must be made that my egg comes from Henan. Even so, the radius of mine is 17 mm - a big difference from the eggs listed, even the smallest had a radius of 24 mm.

Edited by -Andy-

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Troodon

Having trouble translating the page but regardless lots of assumptions and if's. Its difficult enough to ID with a locality and not having one is pure guess work. You need to get back to that shop owner and see what it takes to get one. The color to me says Mongolia but it's pure guess :)

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