An embryo takes you close to China's 'dinosaur world'

An embryo takes you close to China's 'dinosaur world'

BEIJING, Jan. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on China's resent discovery of a dinosaur egg:

Have you ever seen an unborn baby dinosaur curled up inside its egg?

You can find just such a fossilized dinosaur egg at a museum in southeast China's Fujian province. Recent findings by researchers from China, the U.K. and Canada showed that the fossil is among the most complete dinosaur embryos ever recorded in scientific studies. The specimen's position is also unique among known dinosaur embryos as it is very similar to the "tucking" posture that modern birds assume before hatching.

Since the bones of baby dinosaurs are small and fragile and are only very rarely preserved as fossils, the valuable embryo unearthed in east China's Jiangxi province came as a pleasant surprise to scientists. The discovery has shed new light on the growth and reproduction of dinosaurs.

Many people have been filled with awe and curiosity about dinosaurs since they watched the Hollywood movies "Jurassic Park" and "Jurassic World" while growing up. In reality, China is a veritable "dinosaur world."

So far, China has identified and named more than 300 dinosaur species based on skeletal fossils, making it the country with the largest number and richest variety of dinosaurs. Many other discoveries, like the recent findings, have significant implications for global dinosaur research.

For example, in 1979, more than 100 dinosaur fossils including those of primitive sauropods, Stegosaurus and Pterosaurs were unearthed at the Jurassic Period site of Dashanpu in Zigong city, southwest China's Sichuan province, which filled the gap of dinosaur fossils from the mid-Jurassic epoch. In 1996, the world's first feathered dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx prima, was found in China, causing a sensation around the globe. The discovery provided evidence to support the hypothesis that birds are descended from dinosaurs.

For example, the four-winged Microraptor, one of "China's five dinosaur celebrities," represents a necessary stage in the evolution of dinosaurs to birds. There is also Yutyrannus, the largest known dinosaur species with direct evidence of feathers. Meanwhile, Sinornithomimus, Jianchangosaurus and Jiangxisaurus are all representative dinosaurs of China.

These discoveries and studies have time and again reshaped our ideas of dinosaurs.

China is perhaps one of the best places in the world for conducting paleontological research, as the country boasts a vast territory, continuous strata, and a huge number of buried fossils. Meanwhile, thanks to scientific progress, an increasing number of researchers, as well as greater science popularization and public participation, China, a country endowed with favorable natural conditions, is showing growing capacity and shouldering more responsibility for paleontological preservation and research.

For dinosaur fans, they must be glad to see these important discoveries, which have "revived" eggs and footprints from hundreds of millions of years ago, enabling them to tell us the evolutionary history of life. Hopefully the next exciting discovery is on its way.

China Mosaic

An embryo takes you close to China's 'dinosaur world'

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