Enthusiasm among scientists is at an all-time high. A beautifully preserved dinosaur embryo, at least 66 million years old, has been found in the Chinese province of Guangzhou. Named “Baby Yingliang” by researchers, the oviprodoser fossil was preparing to hatch from its egg, they explained when the discovery was announced on Tuesday, December 21st.
“This is one of the few dinosaur nuclei ever discovered”, Fion Wisdom Ma, of the University of Birmingham and co-author of the study, told Agencies France-Presse (AFP). Published in iScience. ⁇ One of the most beautiful fossils I’ve ever seen ”, Confirms Steve Brusatte, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and a member of the research team.
Sample “Looks like a little egg curled up”, He mentions. The baby Yingliang was found with his back bent and legs on either side of his head, trapped in the abdomen. A condition never seen before in dinosaurs, but it is well known in birds. When the chicks are ready to hatch, they place their head under the wings, while piercing their shells with their hooks. Embryos that fail to sustain themselves are more likely to die from failed hatching.
The rare well-preserved dinosaur embryo has a bird-like pre-hatching posture that increases the likelihood of this behavior https://t.co/ewpb7Jczps
Protected from mud slippage
This invention “Many of the traits of birds today provide further evidence that they were inherited from their dinosaur ancestors.”, Mr. Purusatte explains. The alternative would have been the same as sitting crocodiles with only the head tilted to the stomach.
Oviroprocessors, feathered dinosaurs whose name means “egg-stealing lizard” lived in late Asia and North America during the late Cretaceous. They can have different crane shapes and diets, and range in length from monkeys to large gigantopters up to eight meters long.
The baby Yingliang rests 27 centimeters from head to tail and the 17cm long egg in the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum. Scientists say it is 72 to 66 million years old, and that it was well preserved because it was buried by a landslide and protected from scavengers. It would have grown to two or three meters long if it had matured and would have eaten the plants.
This specimen is one of a group of many egg fossils that have been left behind and forgotten for many years. Researchers suspect dinosaurs may have been among them and scratched part of the shell to find baby Yingliang. The researchers hope that the embryo can be examined more accurately using imaging techniques to reveal its entire skeleton.
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