Tech UPTechnologyOldest dinosaur embryos found

Oldest dinosaur embryos found

embrion-dinoA group of American paleontologists has identifiedthe oldest dinosaur embryos discovered so far. Preserved almost intact inside eggs found in 1976 in South Africa, they belong to a species that lived190 million years ago, and that it was the ancestor of the giant four-legged, long-necked prosauropods, such as theDiplodocus.

As revealed by a new study published this week in the magazineJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology, these are embryos of a species of herbivore calledMassospondylus. The researchers, led by Professor Robert Reisz, from the University of Toronto Mississauga, used the fossil fetuses to reconstruct babies of these dinosaurs and determine what their anatomy was like when they roamed the Earth. And they concluded that, unlike adult individuals, the embryos ofMassospondylus they presentedlong forelimbs, disproportionately large heads, and quadruped locomotion.

In addition, “as it happens in the human species, theMassospondylus babies began to walk on all fours, until they were able to walk on two legs, “explained Reisz. If we consider that, in addition,they were born without teeth, paleontologists suspect that these dinosaurs, which were approximately 20 centimeters long at birth,they needed their parents’ attentionuntil their necks and hind limbs grew long enough.

The prosauropods are the first dinosaurs to diversify widely, becoming the most widespread group on Earth, so their biology is particularly interesting to understand “the dawn of the age of dinosaurs.”

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