The skeleton of a baby dinosaur crouching in its fossilized egg was found in China in very good condition, and the discovery provides new information about the evolution of ancient animals and the relationship between today’s birds and dinosaurs. BBC writes.
In their investigation, the Chinese-British research team found that a squatting baby Optirosaur had only been tested in birds so far. This is the position the animals take before hatching. Studies show that the fetus may be at least 66 million years old.
Researchers are looking for an answer to the question of whether this behavior evolved as early as the Cretaceous period, 145-66 million years ago, in optirosaurs of the order Theropods, from which birds later evolved. The results indicate that it is.
The name optirosaurus otherwise means an egg-stealing lizard, these animals that lived in what is now Asia and North America. Steve Brusatte A professor of palaeontology who is part of the research team shared on Twitter that this is one of the most impressive dinosaur fossils he has ever seen.
Our little one has just arrived. Welcome to Baby Yingliang, an adorable fossil embryo of a dinosaur kept inside his egg!
Here you are looking at a little dinosaur, it wasn’t long before it hatched. pic.twitter.com/NtXE8XODjT
– Steve Brusatte (@SteveBrusatte) December 21, 2021
The fossilized fetus comes from Changzhou in south China’s Jiangxi Province and has been in a warehouse since 2000. Staff at the Jingliang Museum of Natural History identified many of the fossils as dinosaur eggs in 2010, when they discovered the bones they were examining. Lida Sheng, a fellow at Beijing University of Geosciences.
Baby Yingliang’s microscope has been discovered. The animal is 27 cm long from head to tail and creeps into a 17 cm long egg. The fossil is subject to further investigation.
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