Crocodilian egg fossil discovered in Guangzhou for first time ever

2023-07-03 14:14:21Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A research team headed by leading paleontologist Xing Lida revealed that a batch of fossilized dinosaur eggshells have been discovered in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province. 

Among the dinosaur remains, the team also discovered a fossilized crocodilian egg fragment, labeled No.470. This marks the first time a fossilized crocodilian egg has been found in China. 

The egg was originally around 6 to 7 centimeters in size, Guo Zisheng, a researcher on the project from the China University of Geosciences (CUG), told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Crocodilian egg fossils are commonly found in Europe, South America and North America. Prior to the Chinese discovery, Pakistan and India were the only two Asian countries where these rare specimens had been found.  

"The discovery has expanded the distribution of this type of fossil," Guo noted, adding that it also reflects the "biodiversity of the Sanshui Basin during the Late Cretaceous." 

A representative Mesozoic-Cenozoic intra-continental rift basin in South China, the Sanshui Basin is a prolific source of natural pre-historic resources such as ostracods, fish and dinosaur fossil remains, paleontologist Xu Xiujun said on Sunday.

The No.470 fossil was one of six specimens unearthed in Guangzhou. Another highlight discovery is No.468, a fossilized eggshell that was identified by researchers as belonging to a man-sized predatory dinosaur, the troodon, also known as the "smartest" dinosaur. 

The treasures were found by a high school student at several local construction sites in Guangzhou. The dinosaur lover donated the discoveries to the Grandview Museum of Natural Science, paving the way for Xing's team to make their discoveries.  

Xu Xing, a well-known dinosaur expert, told the Global Times on Sunday that these discoveries reveal the existence of a rare assemblage of "troodon, oviraptor, hadrosaurus and ancient crocodile" species that had never been discovered in Guangzhou. 

A part of the Sanshui Basin, Guangzhou has long been dubbed as a "city on top of a dinosaur's back." 

The city was home to numerous dinosaur species during the Late Cretaceous about 70 to 90 million years ago, setting Guangdong up to become one of the leading provinces when it comes to the discovery of dinosaur egg fossils.


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