72-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Embryo Is One Of The Best Preserved Specimens Of Its Kind

Dec 30, 2021 by apost team

As time goes by, we continue to learn more and more about the past and all of its previous creatures, beings and other wonders. By studying fossils and other historical findings, researchers, scientists and other qualified officials are able to potentially share exciting discoverings, giving all of us more of an insight into what the world was once like, and how it has developed since.

On Dec. 21, 2021, scientists announced a remarkable discovery of an intricately preserved dinosaur embryo that is from several millions of years ago. Based on their evidence, it appeared that the embryo was preparing to hatch from its egg, similar to how baby birds look right before they are about to hatch. This common tucking position typically helps embryos have a higher chance of hatching.

The fossil was discovered in southern China, specifically at the Shane Industrial Park in Ganzhou City in the Jiangzi Province. The fossil belonged to a baby dinosaur known as a toothless theropod dinosaur or oviraptorosaur. Since their discovery of the fossil – which is believed to be anywhere from 66 million to 72 million years old – researchers have given the dinosaur embryo the name Baby Yingliang.

This egg fossil has become a great key in helping scientists unlock further information about dinosaurs and what their growth and development process was really like. The dinosaur embryo is believed to be one of the best preserved specimens of its kind, leading to quite the exciting development in its research and findings. Read on to find out more about this amazing scientific discovery.

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Close Resemblance To A Baby Bird

After discovering a dinosaur embryo in Ganzhou, researchers have dubbed the finding as Baby Yingliang, according to Phys.org. “It is one of the best dinosaur embryos ever found in history,” University of Birmingham researcher Fion Wasium Ma said

The Daily Mail reported that the embryo was acquired by Liang Liu, the director of Yingliang Group. During the construction of the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum in the 2010s, the staff sorted through storage and discovered the specimens, which were later identified as dinosaur egg fossils. However, the egg fossils had been forgotten in storage until as of recently.

When Ma and her colleagues found the embryo, they noticed that its head was laying below its body with its feet on either side and back curled in a tucking posture that is similar to modern birds such as chickens. According to Phys.org, this posture was previously unseen in dinosaurs and their fossils. “This indicates that such behavior in modern birds first evolved and originated among their dinosaur ancestors,” Ma said.

According to Phys.org, Baby Yingliang measures around 27 centimeters from head to tail and is currently inside a 17-centimeter-long egg at the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum. It’s believed to have been preserved by a mudslide that buried the egg, and is anywhere from 66 million to 72 million years old.

“We are very excited about the discovery of Baby Yingliang – it is preserved in a great condition and helps us answer a lot of questions about dinosaur growth and reproduction with it,” Ma said. Vertebrae paleontologist Steve Brusatte added, “This dinosaur embryo inside its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen.”


What do you think about this recent scientific discovery? Were you surprised by the researchers' findings? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your family and friends, too.

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