Watch Dinosaurs Protect Their Eggs in “Prehistoric Planet 2” Clip With Sir David Attenborough
If there’s anyone on planet Earth you want to explain how dinosaurs protected their eggs, it’s Sir David Attenborough. In a new clip from Apple TV’s docu-series Prehistoric Planet 2, the legendary broadcaster, biologist, natural historian, and author describes the lengths the titanosaur went to protect her egg. A freshly laid titanosaur egg weighed a kilo and a half (3.3 lbs) and was two millimeters thick. The eggs were pretty tough, Attenborough explains, but they still needed to be kept safe and warm, so dinosaurs like the titanosaur developed a host of strategies, including building a nest and then sitting right on top of it.
How do we know dinosaurs did this? As Dr. Darren Naish, the series lead scientific consultant, explains, we have fossils of dinosaurs sitting on top of their nests. This provided the first evidence that some dinosaurs looked after their young. Yet one issue with incubating an egg is that, well, you’re a sitting duck (er, dinosaur). Another is it’s vastly time-consuming. A third is that dinosaurs could be, you probably recall, very massive.
Sauropods, for example, weighed far too much to sit on their eggs—they’d have been making omelets—so what they did was excavate a massive trench with their back feet and buried their eggs there. (Turtles do the same thing today). Other dinosaurs collected rotting vegetation and piled it atop their egg nests, essentially creating a compost heap. Bush turkeys in Australia do the same thing today, and as the vegetation breaks down, it produces enough heat to incubate the eggs for around seven weeks.
Yet a discovery in 2010 revealed an even s stranger method that dinosaurs deployed for protecting their eggs; they used heat from the earth itself. In one site in Argentina, fossils of sauropod eggs have been found right next to geothermal springs. Scientists believe that the sauropods might have been using volcanic activity to keep their eggs warm.
Check out the fascinating clip below. Prehistoric Planet 2 is now streaming on Apple TV:
Here’s the official synopsis for Prehistoric Planet 2:
Experience the wonders of our world like never before in this epic docuseries from Jon Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth. Prehistoric Planet combines award-winning wildlife filmmaking, the latest paleontology learnings and state-of-the-art technology to unveil the spectacular habitats and inhabitants of ancient Earth for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. The series is produced by the world-renowned team at BBC Studios Natural History Unit with support from the photorealistic visual effects of MPC (The Lion King, The Jungle Book) applied to concept art created by Jellyfish Pictures (The Book of Boba Fett, Spirit: Untamed). Prehistoric Planet presents little-known and surprising facts of dinosaur life set against the backdrop of the environments of Cretaceous times, including coasts, deserts, freshwater, ice worlds and forests. Travel back 66 million years to when majestic dinosaurs and extraordinary creatures roamed the lands, seas and skies.
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Featured image: A baby Triceratops shown in “Prehistoric Planet,” now streaming on Apple TV+.