dinosaur egg fossil cnn 1640150043168

Paleontologists have discovered a complete fossil of a small dinosaur that has never seen before, curled up in its egg. According to a new study, the fossil shows striking similarities theropod dinosaurs and the birds they will evolve into. This 70 million-year-old embryo fossil was named “Baby Yingliang” by the Chinese Museum. The embryo is curled up in a 6-inch long eggshell. At this stage, the embryo looks like a modern bird, but its arms and claws are small, not wings.

The egg is about 17 cm long, and the small dinosaur curled inside is estimated to be 27 cm long from head to tail. Researchers say that if it is alive, it will grow into an adult about 2m to 3m long. The discovery of dinosaur embryo fossils is extremely rare, and such discoveries are limited to about six locations. Paleontologists say this is the sign of “curling” among them. This unique posture is usually followed when the young bird’s head is under the right arm during incubation.

The results of the study were published in iScience magazine this week. Darla Zelenitsky, a co-author of the study, said that the bones of baby dinosaurs are small and fragile, and rarely can be preserved as fossils, so this is a very lucky discovery. “This is an amazing specimen. I have studying dinosaur eggs for 25 years and have not seen anything similar,” Zelenitsky added in an email to CNN.

The lead author of the study, Waisum Ma, said: “We were surprised to see that this embryo was well preserved in a dinosaur egg, lying in a bird-like posture. This posture has not found in non-avian dinosaurs before. “

See also  The rare old rocket 88 power mystery photographed by Ed Roth

This fossil found in Jiangxi Province was stored for about 10 years when the staff of the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum sorted the box and found it.

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...