Dinosaur Embryo Found in China
Scientists China recently discovered a 66-million-year-old dinosaur embryo in southern China. The embryo was named ‘Baby Yingliang’. It is a perfectly preserved Oviraptorosaur fossil. It is considered to be one of the most complete dinosaur embryos ever found. According to the study of the fossil, these dinosaurs developed postures that are similar to birds when they were close to hatching.
According to the study done by the University of Birmingham and China University of Geosciences, many interesting facts about the embryo were found. The fossil shows that the dinosaur embryo was in a curled-up position. This is similar to that of modern bird embryos. What is interesting is that this kind of behavior wasn’t seen in dinosaurs. In terms of birds, this behavior is called ‘hatching’. Previously, this behavior was thought to be unique to birds. But according to new studies, researchers believe it may have originated among non-avian theropods (a type of dinosaur).
Discovery of an embryo fossil is rare due to the typical condition of dinosaur fossils. According to the joint first author and PhD researcher at the University of Birmingham, Fion Waisum MA “Dinosaur embryos are some of the rarest fossils and most of them are incomplete with the bones dislocated’’ She also said “We are very excited about the discovery of ‘Baby Yingliang – it is preserved in a great condition and helps us answer a lot of questions about dinosaur growth and reproduction with it.”
This embryo was captured in its live position and has been mostly undisrupted. It Is estimated to be around 27cm long from head to tail. Based on its deep, toothless skull it has been identified as an Oviraptorosaur which are feathered dinosaurs that are closely related to modern-day birds.
According to Professor Steve Brusatte, part of the research team from University of Edinburgh. “This dinosaur embryo inside its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen. 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,”