A dinosaur egg that was fossilized has been discovered- and this egg, which has been existing for the last 66 million years, has an embryo inside. Most researchers over the world have stated that this discovery could help scientists create the link that is necessary to bridge the history between modern-day birds and dinosaurs.
The fossilized egg of this Jurassic beast was found almost two decades ago in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in the Southern part of China by Yingliang Group- a company that provides services in mining stones. Most of the company workers went on to suspect that these stones were, in all probability, dinosaur fossils, so they were put up in storage.
The Dinosaur Egg Was Excavated In 2000 In China
It wasn’t until the company started creating the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum a decade later that the museum staff came across the storage unit and chanced upon the Dinosaur egg. After scientists started examining the fossils, they declared that the egg had an embryo inside it, which was then referred to as Baby Yingliang.
For over ten years, the researchers conducted multiple experiments on the egg and the embryo inside to solidify the connection that we know exists between birds and dinosaurs, and the findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed iScience Journal on Tuesday.
The Science Behind The Discovery of the Dinosaur Egg
Fion Waisum Ma, the lead author of the study and also a researcher of fossils at the University of Birmingham, stated that dinosaur embryos were some of the rarest fossils that could be available on earth, and most of them are quite incomplete- especially with their bones being dislocated and horribly scattered out of place.
The group, therefore, was quite excited about the discovery of this dinosaur egg- called Baby Yingliang, because it had the most complete bone structure of any fossils that they had discovered to date. The author further stated that the fossil was being preserved in optimum conditions, and would help them answer quite a lot of questions about the growth and reproduction of dinosaurs.
Similarities Found Within The Dinosaur Egg and A Normal Bird Egg
The dinosaur egg, it has been examined, belonged to an oviraptorosaur– which is closely related to birds and belongs to the Therapod group. Therapods were carnivorous dinosaurs that had tiny forelimbs which is why they walked on two feet, just like a few other creatures belonging to the group such as the velociraptor and the Tyrannosaurus rex. But a major distinguishing feature that scientists noticed about this embryo was that it resembled a pose that was very similar to birds before hatching- that was absolutely unique to the animal world.
With this dinosaur egg, researchers have claimed that it was laid in a tucking position, with the feet on either side of its head, and the back pressed against the shell. Today, birds would stay in this position before they hatched- and if they didn’t, their chances of survival would be extremely slim. Interestingly, this dinosaur didn’t fly, giving it the unique tag of being the only non-avian animal that hatched in such a fashion. It has also been estimated that this embryo is around 66 to 72 million years old.
Steve Brusatte, a co-author of the study, further claimed that the dinosaur egg with the accompanying embryo did provide further evidence that most of the characteristic features that are attributed to birds came from dinosaurs.