Giant bird-like dinosaur species found in China: Study
A new species of giant dinosaur bird that has tended to huge nests that were larger than the monster tires was discovered in China, scientists announced today. Measuring about eight meters and weighing up to three tons, the new species called Beibeilong sinensis or China’s baby dragon, lived about 90 million years during the Cretaceous period.
The giant oviraptorosaure – a type of dinosaur feathers, wings and beak closely related to birds – is the largest dinosaur known to have sat in its nest and took care of its youth, according to researchers. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, helped find dinosaur species from a large number of associated eggs and embryos that were taken in China in the early 1990s, but then exported from the country.
Read also: New species of Tyrannosaurus, says a sensitive study
At the same time, many fossils of eggs collected in Henan were exported from China to other countries. “This fossil was especially out of the country for more than 20 years and its return to China eventually allowed us to study the specimen correctly and name a new species of dinosaur, Beibeilong sinensis or a Chinese baby dragon,” said Professor Lu Junchang, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences paleontologist.
The eggs have a maximum length of 45 centimeters and weighed about five kilos, making it one of the largest dinosaur eggs ever discovered. They were found in a clutch-shaped ring, which was part of a nest about 2-3 meters in diameter and probably contained two dozen or more eggs. “For many years, it was a mystery as to what kind of dinosaur that places these huge eggs and nests,” said Darla Zelenitsky, a professor at the University of Calgary in Canada.
Read also: “The last African dinosaur” discovered in Morocco
“Because fossils of large theropods such as Tyrannosaurus, were also found in Henan rocks, some people initially thought that the eggs would have belonged to a tyrannosaur,” said Zelenitsky. “Thanks to this fossil, we now know that these eggs were laid by a giant oviraptorosaure, a dinosaur that would have looked a lot like a surrancé hull