Sauropods and family life
Similar evidence for the family life of sauropod dinosaurs comes from a site called Auca Mahuevo, in Argentina. (dinosaur costume)This late Cretaceous sire has a vast array of nests from a riranosaurid sauropod, probably Saltasaurusy made on a flood plain. During the breeding season herds of pregnant females descended on the area – a region that was just out of reach of most floodwaters from nearby streams. Their nests were simple compared with the nest structures of Maiasaura – they merely scooped out a shallow basin, about lm (3ft) in diameter, with their clawed front feet, and laid their eggs in this. (dinosaur equipment)Each female laid 15-40 eggs in nests positioned 1.5-5m (5-16V^ft) apart. Having laid their eggs, the females abandoned them, without any intention of looking after the nestlings once they hatched. It is possible that they remained in the area to discourage the big meat-eating dinosaurs, such as Aucasaurus^ that roamed the region.
The young sauropods, on hatching, would have been about 30cm (12in) long – little animals compared with the adults who were 30 times their length -hut they were equipped to find their own food immediately. (dinosaur factory)Youngsters able to look after themselves immediately, are known as 44precocious hatchlings” by biologists, and this is true of most reptiles today. Once out of the nest, the perils of the outside world awaited the young dinosaurs.
Dinosaur remains have been found showing signs of sickness and injury that would have prevented many from reaching old age. Palaeoparhology, the study of ancient diseases, has shown that a range of traumas and diseases afflicted the dinosaurs.
Many ceratopsian skeletons have healed fractures to their rib-cages, suggesting injuries due to fighting. One ceratopsian skull has been found with a hole in it that matches the dimensions of a ceratopsian horn, suggesting a head-on fight between the two animals. (animatronic dinosaur)Tyrannosaurs suffered from gout. There are at least two examples of this disease that would have been brought on by a surfeit of red meat in the diet. Arthritis has also been identified inquite a few dinosaurs, including Iguanodon^ where foot bones have been fused together. Additionally, a number of the bigger ornithopods have fractures to the upward- projecting spines from the tail vertebrae close to the hips. It has been suggested that these breakages were caused by excessive violence during mating.