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Oldest dinosaur embryo fossils found in China

Posted on Friday, 12 April, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments

Image credit: Gerhard Boeggemann

Palaeontologists have unearthed the oldest known fossilized dinosaur embryos ever discovered.

The sauropodomorph fossils were found in a bone bed in Lufeng County and date back more than 190 million years. Dinosaur eggshells and various bones were also found at the site which is thought to contain the oldest known such traces found anywhere in the world. The find will provide scientists with a unique opportunity to learn more about the embryonic development of the animals at different stages.

"Most of our record of dinosaur embryos is concentrated in the Late Cretaceous period," said museum curator David Evans. "This [study] takes a detailed record of dinosaur embryology and pushes it back over 100 million years."

"Spectroscopic analysis of bone-tissue samples from the Chinese nesting site revealed the oldest organic material ever seen in a terrestrial vertebrate."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun on 12 April, 2013, 12:05
There have been several articles fairly recently about dino eggs... it got me to wondering... Were the very first 'animals' (meaning not single cell critters that re-produce by mitosis, etc) egg layers or was live birth first?... basically I guess what I'm asking is, was the ability to give live birth a later evolution than egg laying?... EDIT: Okay I did a bit of digging and the earliest record of live birth I could find was ~240 million years ago... while the earliest egg-laying I could find was ~500 million years ago... Has anyone found anything earlier of either?...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 12 April, 2013, 18:54
we should try and bring back some dinosaurs back to life that would be pretty awesome lets just make sure that we don't bring back T-rex or meat eaters that would be scary and dangerous and hazardous as well.but also we would have to make sure and look at this issue and experiment in many ways.for example what is the positive sides and the negative sides and the would this affect earth right now and the animals in this time?is this ethical to begin with?would this project be okay with the public and importantly is it ethical ans safe?would it destabilize earthy life ... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by moonshadow60 on 12 April, 2013, 19:37
Taun; are you asking which came first; the chicken or the egg?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 12 April, 2013, 22:41
It was the duck.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Heaven Is A Halfpipe on 13 April, 2013, 14:25
It's the general belief that reptiles and amphibians came before mammals (fish too) and the vast majority of those, if not all, lay eggs whereas it's live birth for mammals.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 13 April, 2013, 22:22
@ moonshadow60 the egg came first lol
Comment icon #7 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 15 April, 2013, 19:42

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