What would you do if you could experience a real-life Jurassic Park?
It sounds like a silly hypothetical question, but not anymore.
Scientists recently discovered a perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo in China’s Ganzhou province. The fossilized embryo dates back 66 million years, and was discovered in 2000 by a mining company. It was kept away in storage for more than a decade until it was rediscovered when the construction of the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum started. Researchers say it’s the best-preserved dinosaur egg ever found and have named it Baby Yingliang.
The embryo, which looks like it was about to hatch like an egg, is that of an oviraptorosaur, a bird-like dinosaur that had feathers. These belonged to the Late Cretaceous period and were usually found in parts of today’s North America and Asia. Researchers say that if Baby Yingliang had hatched and survived all those years ago, it would have roughly been the size of a large turkey and a herbivore.
So, does this mean we can have an actual Jurassic Park? Unfortunately, no. But it is a very important discovery that directly links modern-day birds to their ancestors. According to experts, dinosaur embryos are usually found in a disjointed fashion, making it difficult for scientists to piece together their nature. But Baby Yingliang’s perfect state shows that it was in a position called ‘tucking’, a position where the young bird’s legs are tucked above the head, which is seen in baby birds just before they hatch.
All birds are descended from theropods, a group of two-legged dinosaurs, which include oviraptorosaurs and even the T-Rex. Some of them had feathers and they even hatched their eggs by sitting on them and providing them with warmth, just like birds do.
Would you like to see an actual Jurassic Park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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