Biggest ever oviraptor-like dinosaur discovery in China


This video says about itself:

Oviraptorid fights to protect nest – Planet Dinosaur – BBC

26 July 2013

A female Oviraptorid guards her nest from attackers large and small, but can do nothing about the threat of nature itself.

Narrated by John Hurt, Planet Dinosaur tells the stories of the biggest, deadliest and weirdest creatures ever to walk the Earth, using the latest fossil evidence and immersive computer graphics.

From Sci-news.com:

Beibeilong sinensis: Paleontologists Identify New Species of Cassowary-Like Dinosaur

May 10, 2017 by News Staff

A team of paleontologists from Canada, China, the United States and Slovak Republic has identified a partial clutch of large dinosaur eggs with a closely associated baby dinosaur skeleton as an embryo and eggs of a new, large caenagnathid oviraptorosaur, Beibeilong sinensis.

Beibeilong sinensis (meaning ‘baby dragon from China’) lived in what is now central-eastern China during the Late Cretaceous, about 90 million years ago.

It is described by the paleontologists based on dinosaur eggs and an associated embryo that were collected in China’s Henan Province in 1993.

The unprepared specimen was imported into the United States in mid-1993 by the Stone Company, which exposed the embryo and eggs during preparation.

The specimen was featured in a cover article for National Geographic Magazine, and the embryo became popularly known as ‘Baby Louie’ in recognition of Louis Psihoyos, the photographer for the article.

“This particular fossil was outside the country for over two decades and its return to China finally allowed us to properly study the specimen and name a new dinosaur species,” said team member Prof. Lü Junchang, a paleontologist at the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, and lead co-author of a report published this week on Beibeilong sinensis in the journal Nature Communications.

Along with the dinosaur embryo, the Baby Louie fossil contains between six and eight very large eggs.

These eggs were given their own scientific name, Macroelongatoolithus xixiaensis (meaning ‘large elongate stone eggs’).

“The eggs are up to 18 inches (45 cm) long and weighed about 5 kg, making them some of the largest dinosaur eggs ever discovered,” the researchers said.

“They were found in a ring-shaped clutch, which was part of a nest that was about 6.5-10 feet (2-3 m) in diameter and probably contained two dozen or more eggs.”

Lead co-author Darla Zelenitsky, a professor at the University of Calgary, and her colleagues Philip Currie and Kenneth Carpenter first began examining the Baby Louie fossil shortly after it arrived in the United States.

They noticed the eggs and embryo skeleton looked similar to those of oviraptorosaurs, a group of meat-eating dinosaurs that superficially look like cassowaries, but the eggs were far too large to have been laid by any known species of such dinosaurs at the time.

“Although the identity of the dinosaur embryo could not be determined due to its state of preservation, I had recognized that the large eggs in the nest belonged to an oviraptorosaur, based on various characteristics of the eggshell,” Prof. Zelenitsky said.

“This meant that Baby Louie’s parents must have been truly gigantic, far larger than any known oviraptorosaur species at the time.”

“Dinosaur embryos, because they are so small and are only present for a short time interval in the egg, are very rarely preserved as fossils. So discovering a fossilized dinosaur embryo is equivalent to winning the lottery,” Prof. Zelenitsky noted.

“Baby Louie is the only embryo of a giant oviraptorosaur known in the world,” she said.

Ring-shaped nests of eggs of smaller oviraptorosaur species have been found with the adults sitting in the centre of the nest, so an adult Beibeilong sinensis probably shared similar behaviors.

With their parrot-like skulls, feathers, and two-legged stance, Beibeilong sinensis, weighing in at around 3 tons, are the largest dinosaurs likely to have sat on their nests to brood their clutch of eggs.

See also here.

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3 thoughts on “Biggest ever oviraptor-like dinosaur discovery in China

  1. I read about it aswell. Amazing, how much we still don’t know about our planets history. But keep finding out new things. Like the new species of humans that are currently being studied.

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