Home History 72-million-year-old Baby Dinosaur Embryo Found In China

72-million-year-old Baby Dinosaur Embryo Found In China

In southern China, paleontologists from the University of Birmingham found an incredibly rare fossilized egg containing a complete baby dinosaur embryo. The embryo, which is said to be 72 million years old, is said to be in perfect condition. ‘Baby Yingliang’ is the moniker given to the embryo. Hekou Formation rocks were uncovered in the Shahe Industrial Park in Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province, under which it was discovered.

Paleontologists believe that the embryo represents a species of toothless beaked theropod, commonly known as oviraptorosaurs. In terms of completeness, they claim this to be the most perfect dinosaur embryo ever found. Birds in the early stages of development have a similar stance, and the embryo is no exception. In fact, it bears a striking resemblance to that of birds.

image credits : Xing.et al/ iScience

Analyses suggested that the specimen was on the verge of hatching.

Its head was lower than its body, and its back curved under the egg’s blunt end, with its feet on each side. The oviraptorosaurs were around 10.6 inches in length from head to tail, and they were thought to have developed within a 6.7-inch long egg throughout their development.

Tucking in birds which is a critical developmental behavior regulated by the central nervous system to promote proper hatching is a very comparable pose in this case.

image credits : Lida Xing

In the sight of Baby Yingliang, it is possible to conclude that this stance is not unique to contemporary birds. However, it is possible that it originally originated among theropod dinosaurs that were not birds.

In addition to being an author on a publication, Steve Brusatte is a vertebrate paleontologist at Edinburgh University. He called this baby dinosaur embryo within its egg among the most amazing fossils he’s seen so far. This little unborn dinosaur resembles a baby bird coiled up in its egg in terms of appearance. It is just another piece of evidence demonstrating that many of the characteristics that distinguish modern birds originated in their dinosaur predecessors.

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