My love for fossils was first ignited by a trilobite specimen given as a present by my mom a quarter of a century ago. In anticipation and early celebration of Mothers’ Day (every day should be Mothers’ Day, shouldn’t it?), here’s an all-time classic. It’s a specimen from the American Museum of Natural History showing the claws of an Oviraptor mother from Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, guarding its egg cluster even in death. Next to it is a blow-up image of its little dino foetus.
The backstory here is that Oviraptors were first similarly discovered over a nest of eggs in 1924, and mistaken to have died stealing someone else’s eggs. The name Oviraptor means “egg stealer”. It was only when the foetus were later shown to be also of Oviraptor origin that we learnt that this was not a thief but a nurturing mother! Now, how often do we also misunderstand our mothers when they are in fact sacrificing everything to love and protect us?