Scientists announced on Tuesday that they had discovered a dinosaur embryo at least 66 million years ago and were preparing to emerge from its egg like a bird. Researchers have dubbed the “Baby Yingliang” an over-the-top fossil found in Guangzhou, China. “This is one of the few dinosaur nuclei ever discovered”, Co-author of a study published in Fion Wisdom Ma and iScience at the University of Birmingham, told AFP.
“Baby Yingliang” was seen with his back bent, legs on either side of his head, tucked in his stomach. A condition not yet found in dinosaurs, but 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. “This suggests that modern birds had such behavior from their dinosaur ancestors”, Fionn Wise also explains. It could have been an alternative, like sitting crocodiles with their head tilted to their stomachs.
A forgotten fossil
Oviroptorosaurs, as its name implies “Egg-stealing lizard”, Feathered dinosaurs that lived in 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.
“This dinosaur embryo in its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I’ve ever seen.”Steve Brusat, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and a member of the research team, said in a statement. Sample “It looks like a baby bird curled up in its egg, further evidence that many of the traits of birds today are inherited from their dinosaur ancestors.”, He added. The researchers hope that the embryo can be examined more accurately using imaging techniques to reveal its entire skeleton.
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