The fossils of baby titanosaurs show that they may have suffered from the trauma of a bleak and harsh environment.
If the dead and petrified remains of titanosaurs are anything to go by, they probably underwent a difficult and isolated existence in their juvenile days. After fossils of these giant beasts were studied, the researchers found that they were born with adult features.
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In other words, they had to be independent and self-reliant right from the beginning. Although these might be admirable qualities, these beasts didn’t exactly have an easy time in the game of survival.
Facing tough challenges seemed to have caused them extreme suffering and trauma in the long run. They died soon after birth due to conditions of drought.
The mean age of death was 39 to 77 days which is a relatively short span of time. The daily pressures and brutal environment they faced caused a lot of stress, according to a new study published in Science.
The body structures of these dinosaurs made them likely to survive on their own, find their food independently and forgo the protection of their procreators. They would probably begin feeding on plants and vegetation that they found in their surroundings.
Apparently, the parents of these baby dinosaurs were not very adept at the art of childrearing. They neglected their offspring and didn’t pay any attention to them when they required nurturing.
Other species did have better parents than the so-called guardians that these unfortunate Titanosaurs were blessed with. The baby Titanosaurs were precocial and born in an advanced state.
The flip side of precocial babies are altricial babies. They, on the contrary, have loving and caring parents. This happens to be the first such study that lends proof of the phenomenon of precocial babies in prehistory.
Although abandoning one’s offspring may not be such a good strategy, it did serve an evolutionary purpose. The babies were born with the ability to defend themselves from predators.
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This served them well in their earlier years when the chances of being gobbled up by some other species was very high.