Teenage pregnancies were also common among dinos

November 14th, 2007 - 2:34 am ICT by admin  
Gregory Erickson and his team counted growth rings in the bones of T. Rex and other related dinosaurs found buried with brooding eggs, and found that female T. Rex attained motherhood before reaching full maturity.

Based on the growth stages of the dinosaurs, the scientists determined that T. Rex started laying eggs by the age of 18, Allosaurus by age 10 and Tenontosaurus by the very young age of eight.

Individuals within all three species reached full adult size between their 17th and 21st years. Their lifespan was from 25-30 years.

“We now know that T. Rex lived fast and died young,” said Erickson.

While birds are the modern descendants of dinosaurs, birds never give birth as teens. They finish growing and then wait a year, or even longer, before reproducing.

Co-researcher Andrew Lee said there could be several factors that caused birds to change from their dino birthing ways.

“Flight is definitely part of the answer. Most birds need to be able to fly when they fledge, so they have to reach adult size,” said Lee.

Lee said birds also required a steep learning curve for survival, and the learning process took time.

“Additionally, If birds matured early, their offspring might be born during the late summer or fall when food for growth is more scarce,” he said.

He said dinosaurs did pretty much what humans and most other vertebrates do; reproduce early in their life.

“If these species had waited until full size to reproduce, they would have had very few years in which to produce offspring,” Lee said.

The research was announced at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, reports Discovery News. (ANI)

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