Two pieces of dinosaur embryos from the Cretaceous period have been found in Jiangxi province, eastern China.
According to research published on May 11, the fossil embryo dubbed Ying Baby is located in an elliptical egg with a diameter of about 9 cm and dating from 66 to 72 million years ago. Although this is not the first time such embryos have been found, Ying Baby is by far the most complete specimen.
Ying Baby, which originates from the late Cretaceous stratigraphy of Jiangxi, is dated to about 72 to 66 million years ago. It is located in an elliptical egg with a diameter of about 9cm and a length of about 17cm. Scientists estimate that the hatched dinosaur will be about 27cm long (including the tail). They believe that if it survives to the adult stage, Baby Yingliang will be from 2m to 3m long.
The discovery, made by Yingliang Rock Museum of Natural History, China University of Geosciences, and scholars from Taiwan and Canada, answered a number of questions about how evolution and reproduction of dinosaurs.
Judging by the unique shape of the embryo’s skull, vertebrae and limb bones, scientists deduced that it belonged to a species of duck-billed dinosaur, or Hadrosauridae, a class of large herbivorous dinosaurs. lived at the end of the dinosaur era, characterized by a flat, duck-like beak.
One of the most important new insights that the Ying Baby specimen provided was the modest size of the embryo, suggesting that small eggs and late development of the body were early features of the platypus.
Since 1859, a large number of dinosaur egg fossils have been found in many Mesozoic strata around the world and in China, especially fossils dating to the late Cretaceous, but very few in the late Cretaceous period. Some of them still contain embryos, making Ying Baby one of the rarest fossils. These fossils can provide valuable information for the study of dinosaur development, reproduction, behavior and evolution.