Scientists announced the discovery of a perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo, dating to at least 66 million years ago and preparing to hatch from its egg.
The fossil was discovered in Ganzhou, southern China, and belongs to a theropod dinosaur without teeth, or oviraptosaurus, which the researchers dubbed “baby Yingliang,” the AFP agency reported.
“It is one of the best dinosaur embryos ever found,” said University of Birmingham researcher Fion Waisum Ma, co-author of the publication in the journal iScience.
Ma and his colleagues found the embryo with its head positioned below its body, its feet on either side, and its back hunched, a posture not previously seen in dinosaurs but similar to modern birds.
In birds, this behavior is controlled by the central nervous system and is called “folding.” Chickens preparing to hatch place their heads under their right wing to keep it stable as they hatch with their beaks.
Embryos that do not achieve this position have a higher chance of dying from a failed hatch, added AFP.
Télam / LE