Juvenile Skeletal Structure and the Reproductive Habits of Dinosaurs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5262, pp. 712-714
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5262.712


Skeletal ontogeny in extant archosaurians (crocodilians and birds) indicates that the morphology of the perinatal pelvic girdle is an indicator of overall developmental maturity [that is, altriciality (nestbound) versus precociality (mobile and relatively independent)]. Comparison of the skeletal anatomy of perinatal extant archosaurians and perinatal dinosaurs suggests that known dinosaur hatchlings were precocial. These data are consistent with the overall similarity in nesting behavior of dinosaurs and modern crocodilians.