A recently discovered batch of fossil eggs is being hailed as a missing link in dinosaur egg evolution.
The prehistoric eggs were discovered on the west coast of Portugal and immediately caught the attention of palaeontologists. Using a combination of x-rays and CAT scans, scientists were able to build up a detailed picture of the structure and appearance of both the embryos and the eggshells. The results identified the eggs as those of an early species of therapod dinosaur.
"Most of the time, you find eggs without the embryos, or the embryos without the eggs," said palaeontologist Ricardo Araujo. The discovery will help to establish which aspects of the shells were passed on from the species' ancestors and which developed independently.
"Studying dinosaur eggs is a lot like a big, frustrating Easter egg hunt: The eggs are rare, fragile—rainwater is acidic enough to dissolve some egg fossils—and it can be difficult to identify which dinosaur species they belong to."
View: Full article | Source: National Geographic
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