Coloured Eggs

Colourful dinosaur eggs found, claim scientists in a study reported in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 31 October 2018, and Nature 31 October 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0646-5.

Many birds’ eggs are coloured or have speckled patterns of pigment, while reptiles lay plain white eggs.  It has always been assumed that dinosaurs, being reptiles, would have produced plain white eggs as well.  In 2017 Jasmina Wiemann of Yale University reported finding two pigments, blue-green biliverdin and red-brown protoporphyrin IX, in eggshell from an oviraptorosaur from China.  These two pigments are found in birds’ eggs.

Wiemann and colleagues have now conducted a survey of 18 dinosaur eggshell specimens using a technique named high-resolution Raman microspectroscopy, which analyses the chemical composition of objects using reflected laser light.  This has the advantage is not needing to destroy the material in order to analyse it.  The researchers found colours and speckling patterns in the eggs of theropod dinosaurs including Deinonychus, Heyuannia and troodontids.  These are all considered to be part of the group of dinosaurs that evolved into birds.

The researchers concluded egg colouration evolved as camouflage when dinosaurs started laying eggs in open nests, about 150 million years ago.  Wiemann explained: “We infer that egg colour co-evolved with open nesting habits in dinosaurs.  Once dinosaurs started to build open nests, exposure of the eggs to visually hunting predators and even nesting parasites favoured the evolution of camouflaging egg colour s, and individually recognizable patterns of spots and speckles.”

It was believed that colourful birds’ eggs evolved separately many times, but these researchers are now claiming that “egg colour had a single evolutionary origin in nonavian theropod dinosaurs” and birds inherited it from dinosaur ancestors.


Editorial Comment:  Did you know that moths and people both have melanin pigment, but no-one believes moths became people.  So just because two kinds of creatures have the same pigments, or any other chemicals, does not prove that one evolved into the other.

The actual data is that dinosaur eggshells have the same pigments as bird eggshells and the rest of the reports are classic examples of imposing previously held evolutionist beliefs onto real data.

The story about pigment developing as camouflage when dinosaurs laid eggs out in the open is a typical evolutionary non-explanation.  How is being eaten by predators going to produce the genes needed to produce and lay down pigment chemicals?  The camouflage theory for bird eggs has also been challenged by evolutionary biologists.  See our report “Not Camouflage, Chemical Glue” here.

And watch out for that evolutionary tautology “non-avian theropod dinosaurs”.  Avian means bird.  Therefore, all dinosaurs are non-avian, because dinosaurs are dinosaurs, and birds are birds.  Using the term non-avian dinosaur only serves as a piece of propaganda to maintain the idea that dinosaurs evolved into birds.  Beware of viewing the world through Darwin’s Glasses!

Finally, we would also like to know if these scientists have studied the half-life of these chemicals, i.e. how quickly they decay, before claiming the shells are millions of years old.

Evidence News vol. 18 No. 17
21 November 2018
Creation Research Australia

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep sending out Evidence News and add more items to this archive.  For USA tax deductible donations click here. For UK tax deductible donations click here. For Australia and rest of world click here.