'Beautiful' dinosaur embryo found inside fossilised egg

  • 01 Jan - 07 Jan, 2022
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A fossilised egg discovered in southern China contains one of the most complete dinosaur embryos ever discovered, researchers announced a few weeks ago. In a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal iScience, scientists said the embryo reveals the behavourial similarities between dinosaurs and modern day birds. The fossil contains the partial embryo of a oviraptorid, a feathered two-legged carnivore closely related to birds, according to the journal. The fossilised egg dates back to the late Cretaceous period, which took place between 72 million to 66 million years ago. The embryo – which researchers call "Baby Yingliang" – is estimated to be 27 cm long from head to tail, and is encased in a 17-cm-long elongatoolithid egg. "Baby Yingliang" was discovered in 2000 after workers from a mining company discovered it in the Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in southern China. It is currently housed in the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum in Xiamen, China. "Dinosaur embryos are some of the rarest fossils and most of them are incomplete with the bones dislocated," Fion Waisum Ma, Ph.D. researcher, said in a statement to the University of Birmingham. "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." According to CBS News, researchers plan to continuing studying the fossil and will attempt to image its anatomy.