Dozens of perfectly preserved dinosaur eggs were discovered in China this week by a road crew, and though it may sound strange the find actually isn’t all that unusual for a city that has become known as “the hometown of the dinosaur.”
The dinosaur eggs — 43 in all — were unearthed this week by a construction crew in Heyuan, a city in the the Guangdong province. The city has become known as a dinosaur hotspot because of the frequency that dinosaur-related discoveries have been made there over the last two decades.
There have actually been more than 13,000 dinosaur eggs found in and around Heyuan in the last 20 years, earning the city a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest collection of dinosaur eggs.
The record-keeping book noted:
“The world’s largest collection of dinosaur eggs numbers 10,008 individual samples as of November 2004. It is held at the Heyuan Museum, Guangdong Province, China. All of the eggs come from the late Cretaceous period (89-65 million years ago) and include eggs from oviraptorid and duck-billed dinosaurs.”
The region’s treasure trove of dinosaur evidence was found in much the same way the dinosaur eggs were discovered this week. A group of school children were playing near a building site in 1995 when they found what they thought to be smooth stones.
But a local dinosaur expert later examined the stones and found that they were actually fossilized eggs, and in the 20 years since then there have been dozens of other discoveries.
As the city gained a reputation for its dinosaur discoveries, local officials decided to take advantage. In 2008 they spent $7 million building a fossil museum that’s part of a larger dinosaur theme park.
The 8,000-square-foot museum house the collection of more than 13,000 dinosaur eggs, as well as bones and fossilized footprints.
While the museum was built as a tourist destination, city officials also envisioned it leading to more scientific research into dinosaurs.
The museum has been a bit of a flop, however. It hasn’t pulled in the crowds that officials have hoped, and has gotten some subpar reviews from visitors.
“It is a small museum. It took us not more than 30 minutes to finish viewing,” one visitor wrote on the Trip Advisor website.
There is no word on whether the latest dinosaur eggs found in Heyuan could be headed to the museum.
[Image via The Huffington Post]