In recent years, many fossilized dinosaur eggs and nests have been discovered, although we aren’t always sure what kind of dinosaur they belong to unless there are identifiable bones in the nests with the eggs. Each species of dinosaur has its own egg shell structure and texture, so even a small shell fragment can often tell us what dinosaur laid the eggs. Typically, the parent dinosaur would dig a shallow pit, and lay the eggs in it. Each species of dinosaur appear to have laid the eggs in a characteristic pattern (e.g., in a ring, or standing on end, or even in a closely packed heap), and then cover them with soil or vegetation. In some cases, many nests have been found close to each other, indicating that these dinosaurs gathered together in large groups during the laying season to form a rookery, much like seals, penguins and many other seabirds do today. This would have provided some protection against predators, and would make it easier for the parents to care for the hatchlings until they were old enough to fend for themselves.