Scientists studied fossil teeth of dinosaurs to find out how long the species' egg incubation occurred. The results showed that the dinosaur eggs' slow hatching facilitated the species' extinction.
Humans take nine months to be carried in the womb before being born. In most species, the amount of time for their young to be born defines their mating pattern, migratory habits among other characteristics unique to their kind.
Natural History Museum, Vienna. Model of a dinosaur egg
Dinosaurs had large eggs and that required the adults to expend more energy than their reptilian or amphibian counterparts.
Scientists know for a fact that studying the growth of embryonic teeth of human and crocodilian species can find answers to how long each species' incubation period is. They were set to follow the same measure for dinosaur eggs.
Researchers of Florida State, the University of Calgary, and the American Museum of Natural History studied the embryonic teeth development of Hypacrosaurus stebingeri (a sort of "duck-billed" dinosaur) and Protoceratops andrewsi (a less-famous relative of the triceratops).
Their findings showed that Protoceratops egg would have required longer incubation time which was twice longer than a bird egg. The Hypacrosaurus would have taken even longer period of incubation than a comparable reptile.
In this study, the authors advise that dinosaur behaviors may need to be reevaluated. They cite one common belief that these species migrated back and forth from the Arctic between seasons, but this recent findings may debunk that.
The catastrophic situation of massive volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts made it impossible for these species to survive. The scientists also believe that this long incubation period may have provided the grim situation for these these dinosaurs to be extinct once and for all.
See: Dinosaur’s Feathered Tail Discoverd Beautifully Embedded in Amber