Police seize 231 fossil dinosaur eggs from a residence in Heyuan City of China

Nature may have evolved out the Dinosaurs millions of years ago, but its remnants in the form of fossils are actively being hunted for a peek at the world in that era. However, these fossils that include dinosaur’s eggs are a much-sought entity and fetch a very high price in the black market. Police in China are busy confiscating these eggs from smugglers, criminals, and even villagers.

China was one of the few countries where fossil hunters have dug out a virtual treasure trove of dinosaur eggs from the Cretaceous Period.

State-run Xinhua news agency reported that Chinese police has seized 231 fossil eggs from a house in Heyuan city in southern Guangdong Province. Chinese police also recovered a dinosaur skeleton also. The eggs and the skeleton were stacked up under a staircase in the house.

Experts say the recovered skeleton is of a Psittacosaurus class of dinosaurs which comes under the ceratopsian dinosaur category. These dinosaurs were herbivores and grew to a length of 2 meters. The dinosaur eggs were discovered accidently at a construction site but was spirited away by the villagers before the scientists of other government could reach the spot.

It is not unusual to discover a dinosaur egg in China and the past decade some eggs have been discovered. The egg that has been confiscated belongs to different periods and are of different species.

The earliest scientifically documented dinosaur eggs were first reported in 1859 in southern France. Interestingly the dinosaur egg was discovered by a Catholic priest and an environmentalist who thought that it was an egg laid by a huge bird. The first scientifically recognized dinosaur egg was unearthed in 1923 in Mongolia. The egg was discovered by a team of researchers from American Museum of Natural History.

Chinese paleontologist, Zhao Zi-Kui has developed a classification system that is based on the eggshell structure. Zhao who developed a system of “parataxonomy” under which eggs were differentiated based on their physical qualities


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Nitin Agarwal

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