in the Gobi desert of Mongolia were first discovered in the
1920's by American Museum of Natural History scientists that
were looking for proof that Central Asia was the cradle of human
evolution, but instead inadvertently discovered the extensive
dinosaur fossil deposits. The expeditions ended in the late
1920's because of political unrest and resumed in 1990. The
vast area has been labeled a fossil Vallhalla, due to the stunning
dinosaur discoveries. In particular, the nests and eggs that
were found support new ideas about how dinosaurs lived and nurtured
their young. The fossils of the Gobi have also provided critical
supportive information linking dinosaurs and their direct descendants,
the birds. They have also yielded vast data regarding primate
and human lineage owing to discoveries of a large diversity
of Cretaceous placental mammals, the Eutheria; these diminutive
and nocturnal creatures would mainly survive the forthcoming
extinction of the dinosaurs and their ancestors would radiate
to modern times.
come exclusively from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Oviraptor
was discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews during a 1923 expedition
near a nest of what paleontologists first thought were Protoceratops.
However, an Oviraptor found crouched on a nest in 1993 supports
the theory that Oviraptor was a dutiful parent and probably
not deserving of its name, which means "egg stealer".