© Romain AMIOT / LGL-TPE / CNRS Images



Œuf d’oviraptorosaure montrant le squelette d’un embryon préservé

Egg of an oviraptorosaur from the Upper Cretaceous showing the skeleton of a preserved embryo, found in China. Research scientists have been studying these 70-million-year-old fossilised eggs, which still contain the embryos of these beaked, bipedal dinosaurs. The shells and bones were analysed to establish their oxygen isotope composition, as the oxygen concentration depends on the temperature of the egg. This geochemical analysis method made it possible to find out that the eggs were incubated at a temperature of between 35°C and 40°C. This work opens up new perspectives for palaeontology as it could help us learn about the incubation strategies adopted by other dinosaurs.

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