BEIJING: The most complete duck-billed dinosaur embryo ever documented was found through two fragments of dinosaur eggs from the Late Cretaceous in the Chinese province of Jiangxi (east), the official Global Times reports today.
This finding was published in a thesis signed by the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum, the China University of Geosciences and academics from Taiwan and Canada, in which they respond to unknowns related to the reproduction and evolution of dinosaurs.
The specimen was named “baby yingliang” being found right now at the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum in Fujian (East) Province.
The “baby yingliang” was in an ellipsoid egg with a diameter of 9 centimeters which was found in the Upper Cretaceous strata in Jiangxi, a period of time dating from 72 to 66 million years ago.
The main characteristics that the embryo presents, from a unique shape of the skull to its bones and vertebrae, allow us to deduce that it belonged to a hadrosauridalso known as duck-billed dinosaur, large herbivorous dinosaurs that were characterized by their flat bills similar to those of ducks.
The egg studied in the thesis is not the first to be found of this type of specimen, but it is by far the best preserved embryo ever discovered.
This conservation status has allowed scholars to develop new theories of dinosaur development, seeing that the modest size of both the egg and the embryo suggest that small eggs and late body development were early traits of beaked dinosaurs. of duck.
When comparing to “baby yingliang” Using the embryos of other theropods, long-necked sauropod dinosaurs, and birds, the team proposed that retreating behavior, thought to be unique to birds, first evolved in theropod dinosaurs many tens to hundreds of millions of years ago.
Additional discoveries of embryo fossils would be invaluable in further testing this hypothesis, the researchers summarize.