Never before had such a detailed fossil of a small dinosaur wrapped in an egg been found. For scientists, Baby Yingliang, the name they gave the dinosaur, is another confirmation of the relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
Scientists from the United Kingdom, Canada and China have found a 70-million-year-old fossil in an archive in China. It turns out that it was already excavated in 2000 in Jiangxi Province, but now Baby Yingliang has been largely forgotten and has been collecting dust for twenty years in the warehouse of Yingliang Group, a Chinese stone company. The fossil reappeared during the construction of the Yingliang Stone and Natural History Museum.
In the fossil, you can see the embryonic bones of Oviraptor, a type of dinosaur that walked the land in the area near Mongolia 75 million years ago in the Cretaceous period. This species is also called the “egg thief” because the dinosaur was found in an egg nest when it was first found. Scientists later found this to be unfounded: they were most likely his eggs.
The fossil is very special, says Darla Zelenitsky of the University of Calgary in Canada. Bones of small dinosaurs are very fragile, and therefore the presence of a healthy embryo in the egg is very rare. “It’s a great specimen…I’ve been working with dinosaur eggs for 25 years and have never seen anything like it,” Zelenitsky told CNN. “Until now, not much is known about what happened inside a dinosaur egg before it hatched. There are very few embryo skeletons, especially if you want them whole and in a ‘live’ position.”
After examining the 17-centimeter egg, the scientists concluded that Oviraptor moves the same way in the egg during the incubation process as birds. In process “tuckThe embryos are coiled in such a way that it is easy for small dinosaurs to hatch from the egg, just as chicks do.
This once again confirms the theories surrounding the relationship between dinosaurs and birds, explains Zelenitsky. Specifically from Theropoda, a group of two-legged dinosaurs, an increased relationship with bird behavior has been found. From hatching eggs to feathers, these dinosaurs, although much larger, may have been very similar to modern-day birds. This was confirmed again by the fossil of Bibi Yingliang, Zelenitsky said. The T-Rex, known from the Jurassic Park films, was part of Theropoda.
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