Alfred Nicholson Leeds and the first fossil egg attributed to a ‘saurian’ - NMS Research Repository
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Alfred Nicholson Leeds and the first fossil egg attributed to a ‘saurian’

2014

Abstract

Discovered by the nineteenth century collector Alfred Nicholson Leeds, the first object to be described (1898) as a fossil reptile egg is a unique find from the Oxford Clay near Peterborough. It also comes from one of a very small number of Jurassic localities worldwide that can claim to have yielded a fossil egg. Given its historical and contemporary significance, this object is reassessed in the light of increased understanding of such objects. Data from scanning electron microscopy, computerised tomography, synchrotron imaging, X-ray diffraction and petrographic thin sectioning prove inconclusive. However, the presence of apparent external openings resembling angusticanaliculate pores – a pore type common only to certain types of dinosaur eggshell – in both size and sparseness of distribution prevents its summary dismissal as not being a dinosaurian egg.

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