Skip to Main Content
Current Issue
Volume 32,
Number 11,
November 2017

Full-text available for all issues.


baby crocodile

Baby American Croc

Article Highlight

FROM EGGS TO HATCHLINGS: NEST SITE TAPHONOMY OF AMERICAN CROCODILE (CROCODYLUS ACUTUS) AND BROAD-SNOUTED CAIMAN (CAIMAN LATIROSTRIS)
ASHLEY L. FERGUSON, DAVID J. VARRICCHIO, CARLOS I. PIÑA, and FRANKIE D. JACKSON
PALAIOS May 2017 32:337-348; published online May 2, 2017, doi:10.2110/palo.2016.086

This paper from the May 2017 issue of PALAIOS examines nesting behaviors of extant vertebrates to serve as taphonomic models for interpreting extinct archosaurian reproduction. Past studies examined birds with open nests and nest-bound young and tortoises with buried nests and precocial young. Here, the authors taphonomically describe nesting sites of two crocodylians, American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) at Turkey Point, Florida and broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) from Santa Fe and Chaco provinces, Argentina. Surveys focused on eggshell abundance, orientation, and distribution and nest modification of successfully hatched nests.

Detailed surveys of nests are supported by field videos of parental assistance during a hatching event. Documentation of nest characteristics and eggshell orientations may facilitate interpretations of parental assistance in the fossil record because eggshell distribution and orientation at these nesting sites result from adult females assisting and transporting eggs and young during hatching.

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now