Construction workers in China were in for a pleasant surprise on Christmas Day, as they reportedly discovered 30 dinosaur eggs in the city of Ganzhou, all impeccably preserved after about 130 million years ago.
According to a report from BGR, the construction workers found the eggs while digging at the site of a soon-to-be-constructed middle school. State media outlets reported that the workers found “oval-shaped stones” while using explosives to break the ground and clear rock away. Suspecting that they may have found something unusual, but important, the workers then notified police officials, who in turn alerted Dayu County Museum staff about the discovery.
After analyzing the eggs, museum officials determined that they were dinosaur eggs from the early Cretaceous Period. A report from the Daily Mail noted that the black debris found in between the eggs were fossilized egg shells. The eggs are currently being kept at the Dayu County Museum, where experts will look further into the discovery in hopes of gleaning more information on them.
Although further details on the dinosaur eggs are limited as of the moment, BGR wrote that the location where they were spotted might have been an ancient lakeshore. That, the publication added, would have been a conducive place for raising young dinosaurs.
— MSN (@MSN) December 30, 2017
Ganzhou has long had a reputation as a hotbed for dinosaur discoveries, with the city often referred to as the “hometown of dinosaurs,” or “scary dragons” as Chinese people refer to them. The city and other surrounding areas are well-known for having a vast amount of preserved dinosaur eggs, particularly those laid by oviraptorids, which were relatively small creatures with feathers and parrot-like beaks that existed in what eventually became Mongolia and mainland China.
The new dinosaur egg discovery also comes five months after the discovery of the oviraptorid Corythoraptor jacobsi in Ganzhou. According to Gizmodo, the find was made near a train station in the city, where researchers spotted a near-complete and well-preserved skeleton of the prehistoric creature. C. jacobsi was found to have a “particularly pronounced” head crest not unlike those found on the cassowary, a flightless bird commonly found in Queensland, Australia.
Given the prevalence of oviraptorid fossils in Ganzhou, and the similarity of the photos of the new find to images of known oviraptorid nests, BGR speculated that the dinosaur eggs found on Christmas Day might have belonged to these ancient creatures, but added that it’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions, as the eggs still have to be studied by museum experts.