Five fossilized flamingo eggs from some 18 millions years ago are found in Spain.
A fossil bird's nest has been discovered in Spain, cradling at least five eggs that scientists believe belonged to an ancient flamingo some 18 million years ago.
The nest was found in a limestone block in the Ebro Basin in northeastern Spain. The researchers think it was abandoned and sunk to the bottom of a shallow, salty lake (which once also housed snakes, turtles and crocodiles) before being covered in mud and fossilizing during the early Miocene.
Scans of the eggshell fragments revealed microscopic features that closely match that of the modern flamingo's eggs. However, the type of nest the eggs sit in is much different from the type the birds build today.
Modern flamingos make muddy volcano-shaped nests with a single, large egg in each, but this ancient nest was made from twigs and leaves and holds several eggs. The researchers said the nest actually looks more like those of modern grebes, diving birds that build floating platform nests, which typically hold three to eight eggs and are anchored to the bottom of a lake with aquatic plants.