A 66-72-million-year-old embryo found inside a fossilized dinosaur egg has shed new light on the links between modern birds and dinosaurs, a team of scientists has said.
The embryo, which was found in Ganzhou, southern China, has been dubbed “Baby Yingliang,” the University of Birmingham said. It is housed in China’s Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum, the university said.
The research team involved in the discovery included members from institutions in China, the UK, and Canada, and was “led by scientists from the University of Birmingham and China University of Geosciences.”
The 27-centimeter embryo was found in a posture “unique among known dinosaur embryos,” the scientists said, and “similar to that of modern bird embryos.”
“After studying egg and embryo, researchers believe that such pre-hatching behaviour, previously considered unique to birds, may have originated among non-avian theropods,” a statement from the University of Birmingham said. Credit: Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum via Storyful