In BriefResearchers are studying 70-million-year-old dinosaur eggs that were unearthed at a construction site in China. These fossilized eggs may help researchers better understand the paleoclimate and sedimentary environment of the past.
Dinosaur egg fossils from the late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago, were discovered on April 17 in China’s Guangdong Province. The remains of the five ancient shells were buried about 8 meters (26 feet) deep in sandstone at a construction site in the city of Foshan.
“We found five eggs: three were destroyed, but they are still visible,” Guangdong Archaeological Institute researcher Qiu Licheng told China Central Television (CCTV). “The other two have their imprints on the stone. The eggs were round in shape, belonging to phytophagous [plant-eating] dinosaurs.”
Footage of the discovery, captured in the video below, shows the egg fossils partially encased in large masses of red sandstone. The eggs measure approximately 13 to 14 centimeters (5.1 to 5.5 inches) in diameter.
This is not the first discovery of dinosaur eggs in this part of China. In fact, dinosaur eggs have been found in this region since the 1980s. Foshan’s neighbor, the city of Heyuan, claims the largest number of dinosaur eggs in the world; 43 fossilized dinosaur eggs were unearthed in Heyuan in 2015 alone.
This abundance of dinosaur eggs is the result of Foshan and Heyuan being located inside of the Sanshui Basin, whose high levels of plant and animal life, according to researchers, explains the high number of dinosaur egg fossils.
“There are two things special about Sanshui Basin: one, it’s rich in minerals, two is that it’s rich in fossils, like dinosaur eggs from the Cretaceous period or fish fossils from the Paleogene period,” Foshan’s chief geologist, Liu Jianxiong, told CCTV. “This discovery is very important to our research on paleoclimate and sedimentary environment.”