World’s oldest dinosaur embryo bonebed yields organic remains
April 10, 2013
University of Toronto
A 190-million-year-old dinosaur bonebed near the city of Lufeng, in Yunnan, China has revealed for the first time how dinosaur embryos grew and developed in their eggs.
The Taiwanese members of the team also discovered organic material inside the embryonic bones. Using precisely targeted infrared spectroscopy, they conducted chemical analyses of the dinosaur bone and found evidence of what Reisz says may be collagen fibres. Collagen is a protein characteristically found in bone.
“The bones of ancient animals are transformed to rock during the fossilization process,” says Reisz. “To find remnants of proteins in the embryos is really remarkable, particularly since these specimens are over 100 million years older than other fossils containing similar organic material.”