Cretaceous Parenting

A fossil embryo and a nestful of eggs suggest that even the fiercest dinosaurs had a domestic streak

Anyone who shuddered through Jurassic Park would never use the words motherly or nurturing to describe the movie's prehistoric villains -- especially not the vicious velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus rex that slashed their way across the screen. But those beasts may have had a softer side that moviegoers never saw.

In recent years, scientists have come to believe that on the evolutionary tree, dinosaurs are more closely linked to robins and sparrows than to lizards and crocodiles. Even the most ferocious dinosaurs may have been tender, caring parents, hovering like mother birds over their nests of hatchlings.

For many years the evidence...

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