Fossil consciousness
Properly preserved dinosaur embryo found

A dinosaur egg has been lying in the basement of the Natural History Museum for ten years. When cleaning, researchers learn about the material. When the egg is opened it becomes clear how wonderful the fossil is.

Twenty-one years after the discovery of a fossil dinosaur egg in the southern Chinese province of Kanzhou, researchers have meticulously examined the contents – making an amazing discovery: inside the egg is a surprisingly well-preserved skeleton of a dinosaur embryo.

The approximately 17 cm large egg was initially purchased by the head of a Chinese quarry company in the early millennium, but was later forgotten in a warehouse. It was not until ten years later that the old stocks were discovered due to construction work, and staff at the company’s own Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum identified several fossils as dinosaur eggs, one of which has now been excavated.


The unborn dinosaur lays its head between its wings and bends over the egg. This comes to mind before today’s chicks hatch.

(Photo: imago images / VCG)

An exceptional discovery, a Sino-British-Canadian research team quickly realized. Dinosaur nuclei are one of the rarest fossils of all, and are often incomplete. Scientists now have their investigation in a special journal “Science” Provided. The baby, aged 66 to 72 million, was named Oviroptosaurus and “Baby Yinglian”, apparently about to hatch. It adopted a curved position previously known only to birds.

Researchers are now wondering if this behavior may have evolved into dinosaurs called theropods between 145 and 66 million years ago in the Cretaceous, and then birds appeared. The prenatal dinosaur’s condition is similar to that of chicks shortly before hatching. When stretched, the nucleus should be about 27 cm from head to tail end.

“We are delighted to have discovered Baby Yingliang ‘- it is in excellent condition and helps answer many questions about the growth and reproduction of dinosaurs,” writes Fion Wise Ma of the University of Birmingham.

Stephen Brusatte, his research colleague at the University of Edinburgh, says: “This dinosaur embryo in its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I’ve ever seen. The tiny dinosaur looks like a baby bird curled up in its egg.” There is further evidence that many of the characteristic features of today’s birds were first developed by the ancestors of the dinosaurs, “says Brusat.

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