Egg, Raptor

Name Egg, Raptor
Scientific Name Family Elongatoolithidae
Category Fossils
Origion Shangzhou, Shaanxi Province, China

Historic Background of Oviraptor

In 1924, during an Asian expedition led by Roy Chapman Andrews, the famous naturalist and the director of the American Museum of Natural History, the very first Oviraptor fossil specimen were founded sprawling on top of a nest of egg. At the time, the eggs were believed to be from a type of small ceratopsian dinosaur called protoceratop, whose remains were scattered around the area. From this discovery, not only the first known fossilized dinosaur egg was bought to the rest of the world, proving the theory that dinosaurs laid eggs, the name Oviraptor (egg thief) was also given to this small built theropod dinosaur. About 50 years later, however, when an Oviraptor embryo was found within one of the eggs, we have concluded these eggs were actually Oviraptor eggs. Instead of been caught in the act of trying to steal other’s egg, the creature was actually protecting its own nest when the fetal disaster happened.

oviraptor egg

The Oviraptor lived in the late Cretaceous period between 80 to 70 million years ago; fossils of these predatory animals are founded solely in Mongolia and the Inner Mongolia Region of China.

The Oviraptor was a small bird-like dinosaur about six feet in length and weighted less than 80 pounds. They are believed to have feather covered its whole body. Though it had wings, they are more like feathered arms and not meant for flying. It is believed that the animal used the wings to cover its eggs. With a toothless beak that was powerful and adept for crushing, the creature is believed to be an omnivore. It has a crest on its head, though the actual size of the crest is still under debate. And it had large hands, slender fingers and had walked on its two legs. Because of its lightweight and its long and legs, the creature is believed to be a fast runner.


Oviraptor Egg

Before a vast amount of dinosaur eggs were founded in China, each of this egg was treated as museum pieces and it was nearly impossible for the private collectors to own one of them. Then the recent discovery of nest grounds in China dramatically reduced the market price for them and made it made it possible for the normal people to own a piece of these pre-historic treasures.

Most recently, a large quantity of eggs were founded in parts of China. This discovery led to the large influx of dinosaur eggs available in the market. Unfortunately, detail study of these eggs is incomplete because most of the eggs are missing fossilized embryos within the nest. Most of the eggs founded were already hatched. Though a handful of these eggs appeared to be un-hatched and possibility of embryo bones might be within some of these eggs, the prospect of opening them, cleaning out all the remaining bones (only the ones in advance developmental stage can be used for classification), and performing a comprehensive study on them are not ready available for most of them. Most of taxonomic nomenclature of these eggs, therefore, is based on the shell morphology.

In most cases, when an egg is labeled as Oviraptor egg, most likely it belongs to the family of elongatoolithidae and specie of elongatoolithus based on the shell structure and type. Since most of eggs were found without containing any fossilized embryos within, it is nearly impossible to distinguish the exact specie of animal who laid the egg without having to undergone an in depth scientific research on them.

There are several groups of eggs. The group that are elongated are classified under paratoxonomic family Elongatoolithidae. Of course, among this group, there are large varieties of dinosaur. Their eggs are in various sizes.

As far as dinosaur eggs are concerned, this type of egg is much less common than Hadrosaur eggs. They usually cost twice as much as Hadrosaur eggs. It seems that the more elongated shape, larger size, more shell coverage, less damage, no repair, good shell texture, and detailed lab preparation are the key for the price of an egg.

Physical Description

An actual physical description from EONS Company for this egg is as of follow:

“this unhatched Oviraptor egg (elongatoolithus) has been laboratory prepared in the USA by a trained professional. It retains ~ 93% visible shell; no restoration of any kind; all original shell throughout; the pebbly shell texture (called “ornamentation”) is superbly conserved as the day it was laid…”

The egg is about 5 inches long, 2.25 inches wide, and 1.75 inches high. It weights 1 pound 0.7 ounces. Though it is on the smaller side of raptor eggs, it has beautiful color and very prominent ornamentation.