Copyright: picture alliance / dpa / Cell Press
What a discovery: When making this discovery, the researchers couldn’t believe their eyes. “One of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen,” someone described this very special find.
The amazing, well-preserved skeleton of a dinosaur embryo in a fossilized egg has provided new insights into the evolution of primitive animals. The baby Oviraptosaurus had taken a crouching position that was previously known only to birds, as shown by the study conducted by a Chinese-British research team, and its results were presented in the specialized journal “iScience”.
Researchers are now wondering whether this behavior evolved during the Cretaceous period between 145 and 66 million years ago in the dinosaurs known as theropods, from which birds later emerged. “We were surprised to see this beautifully preserved embryo in a bird-like position in a dinosaur egg,” said Wissum Ma of the University of Birmingham.
“The dinosaur embryo in its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I’ve ever seen,” said Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh, a scientist involved in the study, according to a press release.
The fossil dinosaur embryo comes from the Chinese city of Ganzhou in southern China’s Jiangxi Province and has slept undetected in a camp since the turn of the millennium.
It was only a decade ago that staff at the Yingliang Stone Museum of Natural History identified as many fossils as dinosaur eggs and discovered bones that have now been examined in one of them, according to Lida Xing of the University of Earth Sciences in Beijing. The offspring of the discovered dinosaurs was christened “Baby Yingliang”. The fossil will now be further investigated. (dpa/mg)