A rare look at a baby titanosaur suggests that these huge dinosaurs may have lived independently immediately after birth.
Brian Switek at National Geographic reports that the baby appeared to have been very active during its short life and that it was “ridiculously overengineered” with a body built to carry the massive weight it never lived to put on.
It might sound heartless for a plant-eating dinosaur to leave its babies wandering — especially during the age of predators like the T. rex — but having precocial young is a pretty good evolutionary strategy.
“Precocial young can avoid predation on their own, and there is a much smaller chance of the entire brood succumbing to predation at once,” Curry Rogers told Reuters.
“For sauropods, it doesn’t appear that they were very good parents — at least after their babies hatched.”