Stunning discovery in China. two eggs of dinosaursthe size of a cannonball, filled with crystals, were discovered by paleontologists, in the Qianshan basin, in the province of Anhui, reports LiveScience. According to information published on August 25 in the Journal of Paleontologythese eggs belong to a species of dinosaur previously unknown.
According to the researchers, the eggs are “almost spheroidal”, with a length of 105 to 137 millimeters and a width of 99 to 134 mm. One of the two eggs collected was found partially broken, but its internal surface was “covered with a layer of calcite crystals”, specify the authors of this discovery.
Calcite is a carbonate mineral that is frequently found in the eggs of birds and dinosaurs. Calcite crystals form when calcium carbonate separates from the structure of the eggshell and deposits on its inner surface as slowly growing crystals.
An earlier study published in 2014 in the journal Cretaceous Research suggested that previously discovered Shixingoolithus eggs likely belonged to an ornithopod – a group of duck-billed, herbivorous, and mostly bipedal dinosaurs that grew up to nine meters in length.
Liaoning province, rich in fossils
Ornithopods, like other dinosaurs, disappeared after the asteroid impact Chicxulub, which slammed into the Yucatán Peninsula. After this cataclysmic collision, huge amounts of sulfur were catapulted high into the stratosphere. Sulfur gases obscured the Sun and rapidly cooled the Earthleading to the extinction of approximately 75% of plant and animal species on Earth.
Frequent volcanic eruptions in eastern China have made the region a particularly rich area for archaeologists and paleontologists. According to National Geographic, more than 60 species of plants, nearly 90 species of vertebrates and about 300 species of invertebrates have been identified in Liaoning Province alone in the northwest of the country. Particularly well-preserved fossils thanks to excellent conditions.
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