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According to researchers at Yale, the American Museum of Natural History, and the University of Bonn, birds inherited their egg color from non-avian dinosaur ancestors that laid eggs in fully or partially open nests. The researchers' findings appear Oct. 31 in the online edition of the journal Nature.
"This completely changes our understanding of how egg colors evolved," said the study's lead author, Yale paleontologist Jasmina Wiemann. "For two centuries, ornithologists assumed that egg color appeared in modern birds' eggs multiple times, independently."
Egg - Colors - Birds - Preferences - Environments
The egg colors of birds reflect characteristic preferences in nesting environments and brooding behaviors. Modern birds use only two pigments, red and blue, to create all of the various egg colors, spots, and speckles.
Wiemann and her colleagues analyzed 18 fossil dinosaur eggshell samples from around the...
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