A perfectly preserved baby dinosaur has been discovered inside its egg, according to research published in the journal iScience on Tuesday.
According to the findings, the egg is around 17 centimetres long whilst the dinosaur was estimated to be 27 centimetres long from head to tail. The researchers believe as an adult, had it lived, it would have been about two to three meters long.
The fossilized dinosaur embryo comes from Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, southern China and had been acquired in 2000 by Liang Liu, director of a company called Yingliang Group, who suspected it might contain egg fossils. But it then ended up in storage, largely forgotten until about ten years later, when museum staff during the construction of Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum sorted through the boxes and unearthed the fossils.
“Museum staff identified them as dinosaur eggs and saw some bones on the broken cross section of one of the eggs,” Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences, Beijing, said. The fossils were then prepared, unveiling the embryo hidden within, which they named “Baby Yingliang.”