China: Scientists find mammoth bird-like dinosaur species

Measuring about eight metres and weighing up to three tonnes, the new species named Beibeilong sinensis or baby dragon from China, lived about 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 10, 2017, 14:30 PM IST
China: Scientists find mammoth bird-like dinosaur species
Representational image

New Delhi: Scientists have managed to find a new species of giant, bird-like dinosaur in China.

Measuring about eight metres and weighing up to three tonnes, the new species named Beibeilong sinensis or baby dragon from China, lived about 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period.

The giant oviraptorosaur - a type of feathered, wing- bearing, beaked dinosaur closely related to birds - is the largest known dinosaur to have sat on its nest and cared for its young, researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found the dinosaur species based on a number of large eggs and an associated embryo that were collected in China in the early 1990s but then exported out of the country.

At one time, many fossil eggs collected in Henan were being exported out of China to other countries.

"This particular fossil was outside the country for over 20 years and its return to China finally allowed us to properly study the specimen and name a new dinosaur species, Beibeilong sinensis or baby dragon from China," said Professor Lu Junchang, a paleontologist at Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.

The eggs are up to 45 centimetres long and weighed about five kilogrammes, making them some of the largest dinosaur eggs ever discovered.

They were found in a ring-shaped clutch, which was part of a nest that was about 2-3 meters in diameter and probably contained two dozen or more eggs.

(With PTI inputs)