报告题目: The reproductive biology of Cretaceous oviraptorid dinosaurs and its implication for the origin of bird reproduction
内容简介：This research pioneers an integrative approach that includes all lines of evidence to comprehensively and in detail reconstruct the reproductive biology of oviraptorid dinosaurs. Oviraptorid dinosaurs are a distinctive group of feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous and are characterized by their toothless, parrot-like beaks. Oviraptorid dinosaurs left a superb record of skeletal fossils, clutches, and eggs that inform on their reproductive biology. For instance, the association of an oviraptorid adult “sitting” on a clutch that is represented by several Mongolian and Chinese fossils was interpreted as brooding behavior, a parental care mode only present in modern birds. Despite controversies over this interpretation, these amazing fossils led to the current view that the biology of these near-bird dinosaurs can be inferred from that of modern birds. However, evidence from chemical, taphonomic, and ecological approaches presented in this research reveals a unique reproductive biology in oviraptorid dinosaurs that differs from modern birds in egg structure, clutch architecture and nesting mode, and from less derived dinosaurs and crocodiles in hatching mode and parental investment. Such a unique reproductive mode lacking any modern analogs is contrary to the current view that the nesting biology of these near-bird dinosaurs is analogous to that of modern birds since they are closely related. The applicant will carry out further studies on detection of odor molecules preserved in fossil eggshells, which informs on dinosaur hatching strategies and sheds lights on dinosaur reproduction biology.