New species of dinosaur egg discovered in E.China's Shandong
Published: Apr 29, 2024 04:03 PM
Fossils of new dinosaur egg species unearthed in Laiyang, East China's Shandong Province. Photo: Xinhua

Fossils of new dinosaur egg species unearthed in Laiyang, East China's Shandong Province. Photo: Xinhua

A new dinosaur egg species was discovered recently in Laiyang, East China's Shandong Province, according to media reports on Sunday. The discovery not only enriched the genus of dinosaur eggs in Laiyang, but also provided a more comprehensive foundation for further research on species evolution during the Cretaceous period.

The new finding can be traced back to 2019 when a group of researchers discovered a nest of dinosaur egg fossils in Laiyang during an international joint field scientific expedition. After conducting excavations, the research team discovered that the deformation of these dinosaur eggs was exceptionally rare compared to the known fossil record of dinosaur egg.

Through collaborative research, it was confirmed that the newly discovered nest of dinosaur egg fossils was a brand new egg species.

According to the researchers, a significant number of conical eggshell unit combinations could be observed from the radial section of the new egg fossils, showing noticeable gaps between them. In the middle, columnar eggshell units and small holes were present, while branch of shell units formed in the outermost layer, creating shrub-like microstructures. Based on their findings, the researchers hypothesized that the egg likely belonged to a hadrosaurus, estimated to have lived during the middle of the Late Cretaceous period.

The discovery of the new egg species provided additional fossil evidence for the spheroolithidae and expanded its paleogeographic distribution in East Asia. "Our study not only uncovered a new egg species, but also shed light on the adaptation mechanisms of ancient organisms in response to environmental stress," explained one of the researchers.

To date, both domestic and international scientists have meticulously surveyed numerous fossil sites in Laiyang, and have unearthed and gathered a collection of 12 species of dinosaur fossils spanning nine genera and five categories. Additionally, they have discovered 13 species of dinosaur egg fossils from five families, six genera, and an array of over 300 insect fossils representing 72 genera.

Global Times