Exquisitely preserved 72-million-year-old Dinosaur Embryo discovered

Exquisitely preserved 72 to 66-million-year-old dinosaur embryo found inside a fossilized egg, in southern China.

‘Baby Yingliang’ dinosaur embryo discovered inside a 72 to 66-million-year-old fossilized egg, that belonged to a species of toothless, beaked theropod dinosaurs, or ‘oviraptorosaurs.’

Above image: Reconstruction based on the new specimen Baby Yingliang. Credit Lida Xing

It is 10.6 inches long and It’s one of the most complete dinosaur embryos ever discovered.

The study conducted by vertebrate palaeontologist Fion Waisum Ma of the University of Birmingham and her colleagues:

“Dinosaur embryos are some of the rarest fossils and most of them are incomplete with the bones dislocated.

"Baby Yingliang"

The “Baby Lingliang” fossil. Image credit Xing et al

We are very excited about the discovery of “Baby Yingliang” — it is preserved in a great condition and helps us answer a lot of questions about dinosaur growth and reproduction with it.

It is interesting to see this dinosaur embryo and a chicken embryo pose in a similar way inside the egg, which possibly indicates similar prehatching behaviours.”

The “Baby Lingliang”
The “Baby Lingliang” fossil. Image credit Xing et al

Steve Brusatte, a co-author of the study and a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“This dinosaur embryo inside its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen. This little prenatal dinosaur looks just like a baby bird curled in its egg, which is yet more evidence that many features characteristic of today’s birds first evolved in their dinosaur ancestors.”

The “Baby Lingliang”
Image credit Xing et al

The study was published in iScience