Embryo Discovery Indicates Dinosaurs Grew Fast

Image: Embryo Discovery Indicates Dinosaurs Grew Fast University of Toronto photo of shows the cross-section of a preserved femora, thigh bone, belonging to a 190 million-year-old dinosaur embryo. The purple color is caused by a filter used for effective visualization. The honeycomb like external area is embryonic bone tissue with large primary spaces for blood vessels, bone making cells called osteoblasts, and other soft tissues needed for growth.

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 10:51 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Dinosaurs grew in the egg faster than any animal ever known, new research by an international team reveals. Scientists made the discovery after examining a cache of more than 200 tiny fossilized bones from embryonic dinosaurs found in southwest China.

The remains were preserved at different stages of development, a rare find which enabled the team to see the different stages of incubation.

“These things were growing faster than anything we’ve ever seen—faster than any living mammal or bird today or any known dinosaur,” said University of Toronto paleontologist Robert Reisz, in The Wall Street Journal. He led the team of researchers.

The findings, reported in the journal "Nature," suggest that the remains belonged to a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur called Lufengosaurus, which grew to about 30 feet. The fossils are estimated to be 195 million years old, the oldest dinosaur embryos ever found.



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