Cluster Of Baby Duck-billed Dinosaurs Found Inside Dragon’s Tomb

Posted: Oct 15 2015, 4:05am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 15 2015, 10:44pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Cluster of Baby Duck-billed Dinosaurs Found inside Dragon’s Tomb
Credit: Dewaele et al

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The little duck billed were supposedly just came out of the eggshell when they were buried by sediment.

The fossil remains of many little duck-billed dinosaurs have been discovered inside a rock in Mongolia, known as “Dragon’s Tomb.”

A roughly one foot long slab of rock contains bones of at least three baby duck-billed dinosaurs and it is presumably a part of the nest. Researchers suggest that the nest was located on a riverbank and may be buried by sediment.

The newfound duck-billed or hadrosaurs possess tiny physical features such as the skull length was around 5% that of any largest known Saurolophus angustirostris. It points to the fact that they were in the earliest stage of their life or just came out of the eggshell. Plus, they did not have fully developed cranial crest at the top of the head and halves of cervical neural bones are also not fused, which is a characteristic of advanced hadrosaurs. This discovery can prove to be a key missing link in understanding the origination and development of hadrosaurs, from birth to adulthood.

“The poorly developed crest in Saurolophus babies provides evidence of ontogenetic crest growth within the Saurolophini tribe. The Saurolophini are the only Saurolophinae to bear supra cranial crests as adults.” Leonard Dewaele from Ghent University and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium said in a statement.

The eggshell fragments associated with the individuals are closely resembled to those found earlier in Mongolia.

The Gobi desert of Mongolia yield skeletons of hadrosaurs, either complete or incomplete form many of times before but this latest recovery can shed new lights on the evolution of this type of dinosaurs.

The study was published in PLOS one.

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