Oldest dinosaur embryos unveiled

by Anonymous on Nov. 11th, 2010

Artist's conception of a baby Massospondylus: The prosauropod lived during the early Jurassic Period and was ancestral to the later giant sauropods that dominated the late Jurrassic landscape.
Artist's conception of a baby Massospondylus: The prosauropod lived during the early Jurassic Period and was ancestral to the later giant sauropods that dominated the late Jurrassic landscape.Courtesy Nobu Tamura via Wikimedia Commons
Over at the Discovery News website Jennifer Viegas writes about the discovery of some amazing dinosaur embryos dating back to the early Jurassic. In fact, the 190 million year-old eggs are the oldest fossilized embryos known of any land-dwelling vertebrate. The eggs have been identified as those of a prosauropod known as Massospondylus. Prosauropods were a type of dinosaur ancestral to the bulky long-necked sauropods such as Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus. The fossilized eggs were found in South Africa, and were close to hatching. The well-preserved skeletal remains of the embryos are just about complete, and have already given scientists new insight into the early development of dinosaurs. The study appears in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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