From the article “Prehistoric snake gobbled-up dinosaur babies” by Jeremy Hance, which was published on mongabay.com on March 2, 2010:
A fossilized snake has been discovered inside a titanosaur nest in India, leading researchers to conclude that the snake fed on newly-hatched dinosaur babies, rather than their eggs like modern snakes.
The thought process is quite clear, though probably even in its long form simplistic:
- This prehistoric snake ate freshly hatched baby dinosaurs.
- Modern snakes evolved from prehistoric snakes.
- Birds evolved from dinosaurs (though there’s some fuzziness around the edges of this statement).
- Birds (and most reptiles) lay eggs.
- Modern snakes eat eggs.
But here, it got telescoped into an over-shortened version in which the pronoun “their [eggs]” carries the entire weight of referring, simultaneously to dinosaurs in the prehistoric case and (unnamed) birds in the modern case.