Researchers find perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo in China; Oh no... it's Jurassic Park, says social media

Researchers find perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo in China; Oh no... it's Jurassic Park, says social media

View of the oviraptorosaur embryo 'Baby Yingliang', one of the best-preserved dinosaur embryos ever reported, in this handout photograph obtained by Reuters on December 22, 2021. Courtesy of Lida Xing/Handout via Reuters

Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, December 22

Scientists in China have announced they’ve found a perfectly preserved fossilised dinosaur embryo that was preparing to hatch from an egg.

A report in the BBC said that the egg was found in Ganzhou in southern China’s Jiangxi province. Researchers estimate that the fossil is at least 66 million years old, the BCC report said.    

Drawing by Julius Csotonyi shows a life reconstruction of a close-to-hatching oviraptorosaur embryo based on the new specimen 'Baby Yingliang', in this handout image obtained by Reuters on December 22, 2021.Handout via Reuters 

The embryo is believed to be of a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur, and has been named Baby Yingliang, BBC said in its report.

The report quoted a researcher, Dr Fion Waisum Ma, as saying it was “the best dinosaur embryo ever found in history”. Oviraptorosaurs, meaning “egg thief lizards”, belonged the Cretaceous period —the period of time between 100 million to 66 million years ago. Characteristically short, beaked, parrot-like skulls, with or without bony crests atop the head, —these feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs lived in what is now Asia and North America.

The fossil shows the embryo in a curled position known as “tucking”— a behaviour seen in birds shortly before they hatch, the BBC report said.

The discovery has given researchers a greater understanding of the link between dinosaurs and modern birds, the BBC report said.

“This indicates that such behaviour in modern birds first evolved and originated among their dinosaur ancestors,” BBC quoted Dr Ma as having told the AFP news agency.

Paleontologist Prof Steve Brusatte, who was also part of the research team, tweeted that it was “one of the most stunning dinosaur fossils” he’d ever seen.

‘Oh no…not Jurassic Park’

The news of this discovery gave way to some hilarious responses. Users took to social media to joke about a possible world like the movie franchise ‘Jurassic Park’. The first installment of a trilogy based on the 1990 novel by Michael Crichton, the film is set on Isla Nublar, a fictional island located off Central America’s Pacific Coast near Costa Rica, where a wealthy businessman and a team of genetic scientists have created a wildlife park of de-extinct dinosaurs.

“Pandemic and now dinosaurs will return... this is right on que (sic),” one tweet said.

“Don’t like this. After the last 2 years all we need is a real-life Jurassic park moment,” another person said.

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