Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dinosaur Embryos were Overlooked in the Past

There has been a “new” discovery of 190 million year old dinosaur embryos that were found in 1976 in Africa. They were found in museum collections and were recently worked on in an attempt to reveal what the dinosaur embryo would have looked like. The result was an illustration of what it would have looked like in its egg right before it would be hatching.

The picture and the fossil give clues to development and growth of the dinosaurs in their eggs. Not only are these fossils very important as far as learning about the development of dinosaurs, they are also the oldest land-dwelling vertebrate embryos to be found yet. This embryo belongs to the prosauropod group known as Massosondylus.

These embryos have been described to be similar in development to human embryos. In stating this, the researchers have said that these dinos have an awkward development in which they have a large head and disproportionate limbs. With the way that the embryos were developed and considering that they were almost fully developed in the fossils, it was shown that there was probably some parental care involved after they were hatched. Assuming that this is true, the embryos also show the first record of parental care. These embryos have been a very important discovery in learning about dinosaur embryonic development.

Oldest Dinosaur Embryos Give Insights to Infancy and Growth
This article was found on Science Daily.


  1. This is another example of someone making a discovery without actually discovering a “new” fossil. It makes you wonder how many more interesting facts are waiting in museums to be discovered.

  2. I agree with the other Lucas, and wonder why it took almost 35 years to finally come out with these findings. It seems like it would be something that scientists would be overjoyed to put forward publicly if they took the time to analyze the fossils earlier.

  3. I find it interesting that these embryos had such well developed bones. It seems as if, since they are immature, that their bones would not be as developed similar to human infants. It would be interesting to find some research that shows that relatives to these animals also have well developed bones in embryo.