Such a condition has never been seen before in dinosaurs, and suggests that such behavior in modern birds was similar to that of their dinosaur ancestors.
Scientists announced on Tuesday that they had discovered a dinosaur embryo at least 66 million years ago and were preparing to emerge from its egg like a bird. This over-the-top fossil fossil was discovered In the Chinese province, Named “Baby Yingliang” by researchers.
“This is one of the best dinosaur embryos ever discovered,” said Fionn Weiss, co-author of the study in the journal Science and the University of Birmingham. Science.
A hitherto unknown condition among dinosaurs
“Baby Yingliang” was seen with his back bent, legs on either side of his head, tucked in his stomach. A condition not yet found in dinosaurs, but well known in birds.
When the chicks are ready to hatch, they place their head under the wings, while piercing their shells with their hooks. Embryos that fail to sustain themselves are more likely to die from failed hatching.
“This suggests that modern birds had similar behavior to their dinosaur ancestors,” says Fionn Wise Ma.
With only the head tilted to the stomach and accepting the sitting posture, the alternative would have been the same as what the crocodiles do.
72 to 66 million years old
Oviroptorosaurs, meaning “egg-stealing lizard,” are feathered dinosaurs that lived in Asia and North America during the late Cretaceous.
They can have different crane shapes and diets, and range in length from monkeys to large gigantopters up to eight meters long. The baby Yingliang rests 27 centimeters from head to tail and the 17cm long egg in the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum.
Scientists say it is 72 to 66 million years old, and that it was well preserved because it was buried by a landslide and protected from scavengers. It would have grown to two or three meters long if it had matured and would have eaten the plants.
Fossil forgotten for many years
This specimen is one of a group of many egg fossils that have been left behind and forgotten for many years. Researchers suspect dinosaurs may have been among them and scratched part of the shell to find baby Yingliang.
Steve Brusatte, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the research team said in a statement, “This dinosaur embryo in its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I’ve ever seen.
The model “looks like a baby bird curled up in its egg, further evidence that many of the characteristics of birds today are inherited from their dinosaur ancestors,” he added.
The researchers hope that the embryo can be examined more accurately using imaging techniques to reveal its entire skeleton.
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