Well well, I see Jurassic Park live getting closer and closer. Joke. Maybe.
A research team has discovered a well-preserved dinosaur embryo inside a fossilized egg. The dinosaur belongs to the oviraptorosaur group, not because of its birdlike feet (and in fact modern birds are thought to be descended from a minor species of these theropods). The name chosen for the embryo? "Baby Yngliang": Spielberg has already made a note for the title of the next film.
The finding of the dinosaur embryo
Researchers from the Yingliang group, a mining company, originally found the stone in 2000. At the time they thought it might contain egg fossils, and they kept it in storage for about ten years. When archaeologists began collecting samples to build the Yingliang Stone Museum of Natural History, the researchers began sifting through all the materials. "Museum employees noticed dinosaur bones from a cross section of a broken egg," he says Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences.
After its initial discovery, scientists began researching the dinosaur embryo. They found that it adopted a unique folding posture during hatching. A posture that was believed to be used only by birds. This new information may help further establish the evolutionary link between modern birds and a theropod dinosaur. The researchers published their findings on the dinosaur fetus in iScience magazine.
From examining this dinosaur fetus we learned a lot more about how their eggs hatched. This is the first time that scientists have observed the posture seen in the embryo in a non-avian dinosaur. It is also one of the rare occasions when scientists have been able to discover such a well-preserved embryo.
For now, the dinosaur embryo will continue to be exhibited in the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum. Researchers will continue to study it thoroughly to see if there is more we can learn about it. The next step is obviously to reconstruct the complete anatomy of "Baby Yngliang", even if the first reconstructions are astounding.