A partial skeleton of Oviraptor (which means egg thief), collected at Bayan Mandahu (Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China) in 1990 was lying on top of a nest of eggs. Of the six known skeletons of this genus from Upper Cretaceous Djadokhtan sediments, this is the second occurrence in which the theropods were interacting with the eggs when they were buried by sand and dust during sandstorms. Two explanations for the association of Oviraptor with eggs are that the theropod may have been eating the eggs, or it may have been incubating and protecting them. Evidence presented suggests that the latter hypothesis is more likely. It is also conceivable that the female oviraptorid was in the process of laying eggs when she died.

You do not currently have access to this article.