There’s A Dinosaur In This Egg!

By Maria Jose Serra

Adapted from Scholastic News, Maria Jose Serra, Edition 4, January 13, 1995.

Can you imagine looking inside an ancient dinosaur egg? Scientists with the Gobi Desert project can do just that. They found an egg with a dinosaur embryo (EHM-bree-oh) inside. That's a baby dinosaur that never hatched. Scientists have found hundreds of dino eggs, but this one is special. Part of the shell was worn away by weather, so scientists can look inside!

Scientist Mark Norell found the egg near some other eggs. He said the embryo is a meat-eater called an oviraptor (oh-vih-RAP-tor). This is the first time scientists have gotten a good look at a baby meat eater.

The egg gives some exciting new clues about oviraptors. In 1923, the first oviraptor fossil was found. It was near some eggs, so scientists thought the dino had been eating the eggs of another dinosaur. They named the creature oviraptor, or "egg thief."

Now, scientists say that might have been wrong. The egg found in the Gobi Desert looks just like the eggs found in 1923. That means the oviraptor was not eating the eggs of another dinosaur, but was taking care of its own eggs. Now, scientists are trying to figure out if the oviraptor really ate dino eggs at all!

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    Archaeology, Dinosaurs