Sunday, July 5, 2020

Mysterious fossil revealed to be world’s largest reptile egg 9 years later

In 2011, Chilean scientists discovered a large fossil in Antarctica and couldn’t identify what it was. The fossil, resembling a deflated football, lay useless in Chile’s National Museum of Natural History. “The Thing,” as they nicknamed it, was identified to be about 66 million years old at the time, and measured around 11 by 7 inches.

However, after an analysis by scientists from the University of Texas, “The Thing” has been identified to be the largest known reptilian egg. “It is from an animal the size of a large dinosaur — but it is completely unlike a dinosaur egg,” lead author Lucas Legendre, a geoscientist at the University of Texas, said according to Fox News. The egg is believed to have been laid by a giant sea reptile, possibly the Mosasaur (as seen in Jurassic World). However, it is unknown if the egg was laid on land or at sea.

Read Also: Gene-edited embryos experiment with CRISPR ends disastrously

Comparing with the size of reptiles and their eggs today, it is estimated by the researchers that the creature would have been at least seven meters long. The egg also marks the largest soft-shelled egg and second-largest egg we know off. A paper was published describing the egg on the journal Nature.

David Rubilar-Rogers of Chile’s National Museum of Natural History, also co-author of the study, was one of the first scientists to have originally found the fossilized egg in 2011. However, he wasn’t able to identify the fossil as an egg until Julia Clarke, a professor in the Jackson School’s Department of Geological Sciences, suggested that it could be a deflated egg, ScienceDaily reports.

This fossilized egg was laid by Mussaurus, a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that grew to 20 feet in length and lived between 227 and 208.5 million years ago in what is now Argentina. | Image: SWNS

It was later that Legendre began pursuing an analysis of the fossil with this new theory until he found multiple layers of membrane that confirmed the theory that the fossil was an egg. The egg was hatched and contained no skeleton of any reptile inside, making it difficult for Legendre to identify the type of egg and what reptile could have laid it. After further comparison with a data set of living reptiles, he concluded that the reptile that laid the egg would have been at least 20 feet long (not counting the tail). This is most likely an ancient sea creature.

“Many authors have hypothesized that this was sort of a nursery site with shallow protected water, a cove environment where the young ones would have had a quiet setting to grow up,” Legendre said. It is still an open question about how and where the reptile laid the egg. Knowing the answer might help zero in on whose egg it may be!

Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!

Comment Below

Featured Stories

Modest alcohol consumption can bring a healthier brain, new study says

The trend towards alcohol is fast growing at the time. It is one of the most popular...

Coronavirus-infected cells grow more branched extensions than normal, new studies reveal

A recent study published in the scientific journal Cell found that infection with the novel coronavirus can...

Latest Stories

Instagram new feature brings follow suggestions to stories

Instagram stories now suggest who to follow, as noted by a member of the News Landed writing...

World record $1 billion worth of ISIS-made drugs buested by Italy

With a plethora of happenings around the world, a drug bust has come into the highlight where...

A 3,000-year-old Egyptian bird mummy examined in Israel

At the Computerized Tomography (CT) Institute at Rambam Hospital in Haifa in the occupied Palestinian territories, there...

Related Stories

New fossil discovery might reveal the ancestors of present-day birds

Birds have come down from dinosaurs is what we know till today through the fossils which we...

Scientists have found a fossil of the smallest dinosaur that ever existed

Scientists reportedly have found a fossil of the smallest dinosaur that could have ever existed. The fossil...