29 December 2015
Papers for Eggs
Aepyornis papers, as with many aspects of the history that has been documented about these birds, are mostly about eggs. Constituting the most readily available fossil evidence of the birds, these eggs are easily studied because of their abundance. Not all of these egg papers are really about the eggs though. They have to be more specific than many studies because studies that simply describe eggs only really need to be done once. However, describing the calcite orientation in one study and isotope chemistry of the shell in another. Despite a lesser abundance of skeletal remains studies of estimated weight have been published as well. A combination of studying the eggs and the skeleton of Aepyornis culminated, at least once, in a great study of the osteology of embryos that were preserved with eggs. Because we have embryos as well as adults we have a strong line of ontogenetic evidence concerning the bird. Having a great deal of studies from egg to adult is great for any extinct animal and we are extremely lucky to have this much for this animal.