Insight Online News
Beijing, Dec 22 : Scientists in China have discovered a rare 66-million-year-old perfectly preserved fossil of a baby dinosaur in its egg showing similarities between theropod dinosaurs and the birds they would evolve into.
The embryo has been named ‘Baby Yingliang’ after the museum in southern China where it was discovered.
According to ABC News report published on Tuesday, the fossilised bones are seen curled up inside its 6-inch elongated eggshell and looking almost exactly like a modern bird at that stage, although it has tiny arms and claws rather than wings.
Fion Waisum Ma, a paleontologist at the University of Birmingham and one of the authors of the fossil study published in ‘journal iScience’, was quoted as saying that the head in the embryo has a striking similarity with the head of a newly hatched bird, especially because of its beak that was a feature of the dinosaur species, called oviraptorosaur.
Oviraptorosaurs was a type of theropod dinosaur with hollow bones and three-toed limbs. It was very close to the dinosaurs that evolved into modern birds.
According to ABC News, embryonic dinosaur fossils, which the paleontologists have found at only about half a dozen sites, are extremely.
This is also the first time that any embryonic dinosaur fossils have had shown signs of a a distinctive posture known as “tucking”, which means the head placed under the right arm, though some dinosaur embryos have shown distinct “egg teeth” that they may have used to break out of their shells, John Nudds, said a paleontologist at the University of Manchester, who wasn’t involved in the study.
Baby Yingliang was among the fossils that were sent to the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum in the Chinese city of Nan’an in 2000.
However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the fossil egg was examined and found that what appeared to be bones could be seen in a fracture, ABC News reports.
According to the study done on the fossilised egg, the fossil seems to be 66 million to 72 million years old.