New ‘Jurassic Park’ Finding? Dinosaur Egg Discovered In China
Researchers have discovered a dinosaur egg from the Lower Cretaceous, or Early Cretaceous, in northwest China.Advertisement
The eggs from the Lower Cretaceous are rarer in comparison to those from the Upper Cretaceous. As reported by UPI.com, fossils dating as far as 100 million and 145 million years back are known to be part of the strata.
The specimen, which is a highly fragmented egg, was found near the border of Yongjing and Lintao counties, in the central region of the Lower Cretaceous Lanzhou-Minhe Basin.
Through this discovery, researchers will be able to better understand and study the geological and geographical distribution of Early Cretaceous dinosaur eggs in China and how the eggshell structure was evolved.
Fossilized eggs are classified using parataxonomy. As a result of the latest discovery, scientists established a new “oogenus,” “oospecies” and “oofamily.” According to the researchers, the discovered egg had “branched eggshell units lacking a compact layer near the outer surface; interlocking or isolated multi-angular eggshell units, as viewed in tangential sections; and irregular pore canals.”
Although remains of several dinosaur skeletons have been discovered in the Early Cretaceous outcrops in Gansu Province, eggs have never been found, according to Phys.org.
Dr. Zhang Shukang, corresponding author of the study at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthrology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “Dinosaur eggs from China largely come from the Late Cretaceous deposits, with occasional reports from the Early Cretaceous in Liaoning Province, northeastern China.
“The new discovery expands the geological and geographical distribution of the fossil record of dinosaur eggs in China and may reveal the origin of eggshell microstructures of spheroolithid eggs.”
The teams that worked on the discovery of the specimen, found from the Lanzhou-Minhe Basin during a field investigation, were from Gansu Geological Museum (GGM), Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IVPP) and Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (IGCAGS).