A group of dinosaur fossils recently discovered in Ganzhou, East China's Jiangxi Province, have revealed an unprecedented paleontological finding to the world. They preserve a rare scene of an adult oviraptorid skeleton atop an egg clutch that contains embryonic remains.
The oviraptorid fossils were identified in a stratum dating back to 70 million years ago. The discovery shows that the oviraptorid who lived in the Late Cretaceous was around two meters long. There are at least 24 eggs that have been found in one egg nest, and the dinosaur was in a typical hatching posture (of modern birds) with its forelegs spread backward and covering the egg nest, while the hind legs were folded under the body.
"This discovery provides the latest evidence for us to study the hatching behavior and methods of this type of dinosaur," said Bi Shundong, the first author of a published academic report related to this study, told the Global Times on Tuesday. Bi is also a professor at the Paleontology Department of Yunnan University and is a head researcher of this oviraptorid project.
"It is the first case discovered in the world, I mean the three things altogether in one fossil – the adult skeleton of an oviraptorid, the embryonic remains, and the egg nest," Bi emphasized.