The progeny of the birds may have possessed the same status as the embryos of some dinosaurs within the eggs: this is suggested by the fossil record of the highly preserved oviproposer egg – a group of dinosaurs with feathers close to the birds – it was discovered. In China in 2000 but only recently was analyzed. The embryo inside is set up similar to the chick just before hatching, which has never been seen before in non-flying dinosaur egg fossils.
A study by a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Earth Sciences of China e Published in Magazine Science He explains that although many fossils of dinosaur eggs or nests have been found in the last century, some embryos are well preserved: most of the embryos’ bones have been damaged and displaced. On the other hand, one found in the rock formations of Hego in the Jiangxi region did not suffer such damage: it is clear that the fetal head was between the hind legs, under the anterior. The back is curved.
According to the authors of the study, compared to other fossils, oviprotozoan embryos formed the pre-hatching stage of modern birds, which act to break the egg hole. Bird embryos that do not keep themselves in this position are more likely to die during hatching.
The egg is about 17 centimeters long, about 66 million years old and is thought to have been preserved by burying due to sudden landslides. One of the researchers who took part in the study, Fionn Weiss Ma, said it was “the best dinosaur embryo ever discovered in history”.
– read more: We saw dinosaur feathers
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