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'Exquisitely preserved' dinosaur embryo discovered

By T.K. Randall
December 22, 2021 · Comment icon 6 comments

An artist's impression of the embryo. Image Credit: Julius Csotonyi
An unhatched dinosaur resembling a 17-day-old chicken embryo has been discovered by palaeontologists.
The embryo, which looks like something out of a scene from 'Jurassic Park', measures around 27cm long and belongs to a species of bird-like dinosaur known as an oviraptorosaur.

It is not only one of the best preserved dinosaur embryos ever found, but also one of the best pieces of evidence to further the link between dinosaurs and modern day birds.

Dating back between 66 and 72 million years, the egg was found in Ganzhou in eastern China.

What's particularly interesting is the way in which the embryo is positioned within the egg, exhibiting a pose never seen in non-avian dinosaurs but which closely resembles that of modern birds.
Oviraptorosaurs (meaning 'egg thief lizards') were a group of theropod dinosaurs that roamed Asia and North America during the Late Cretaceous period.

While some were as small as a turkey, others were huge - measuring up to 7 meters in length.

They were particularly close, in evolutionary terms, to modern birds and have taught scientists much about the evolution of the dinosaurs during this period and the emergence of the birds we see today.

"This dinosaur embryo inside its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen," said Prof Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh.

"This little prenatal dinosaur looks just like a baby bird curled in its egg, which is yet more evidence that many features characteristic of today's birds first evolved in their dinosaur ancestors."

Source: | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Twin 3 years ago
Nice. When will we get the DNA?
Comment icon #2 Posted by L.A.T.1961 3 years ago
Probably not soon, the Chinese likely cooked it for breakfast.  
Comment icon #3 Posted by Twin 3 years ago
Comment icon #4 Posted by mesuma 3 years ago
Back away fellas. This is another one of God's tests.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 3 years ago
It's the fossilized skeleton of the embryonic dinosaur, presenting no tissue or DNA to analyze at all, but outstanding in its own right, to be sure. No fault of UM, but the title and 'picture graphic' by the original author is somewhat misleading.
Comment icon #6 Posted by OverSword 3 years ago

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