By Matt Hoffmadin, Buzz60
Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? A new study says it may have been because of their eggs and a long incubation period.
The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that some dinosaur eggs may have taken six months or more to hatch–much longer than the eggs of dinosaurs' close relatives, birds. Today's birds eggs can hatch anywhere from 11 to 85 days.
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According to lead author Gregory Erickson, the amount of care dinosaurs needed to put into incubating their eggs may have been a fatal disadvantage to survive predators as well as environmental disasters like flooding or drought, as well as catastrophes like the massive asteroid strike that occurred 65 million years ago.
Erickson told the New York Times, "THE DINOSAURS FOUND THEMSELVES HOLDING SOME BAD CARDS. THEY HAD A DEAD MAN'S HAND."
Erickson reached his conclusion by studying tooth development in fossilized dinosaur embryos.