This one of a kind dinosaur embryo was unearthed in Ganzhou in southern China and researchers believe it to be at least 66 million years old. 

They announced the discovery of the perfectly formed embryo that was preparing to hatch just like a chicken. 

Researchers believe it to be a toothless theropod dinosaur or oviraptorosaur and has called baby Yingliang. 

Dr Fion Waisum Ma said claims it’s “the best dinosaur embryo ever found in history”.

This discovery has led to a greater understanding of the similarities between dinosaurs and modern-day birds. The bird was in a ‘tucked’ position which birds today do shortly before hatching. 

Dr Ma when speaking with the AFP news agency said; “This indicates that such behaviour in modern birds first evolved and originated among their dinosaur ancestors,”

An oviraptorosaur stands for “egg thief lizards” were feathered and were native to what is now North America and Asia towards the end of the Late Cretaceous period around 66 million to 100 million years ago.

Prof Steve Brusatte a palaeontologist who was a part of the research team tweeted that it’s “one of the most stunning dinosaur fossils” he’d ever seen and that it was moments away from hatching. 

Baby Yingliang is 27cm (10.6in) from head to tail and is inside a 17cm (6.7in) egg at the Yingliang Stone Nature History Museum in China. 

It was first discovered in 2000 and put into storage. Only when reconstruction work started that researchers were sorting through old fossils when the egg caught their attention and they suspected there was an embryo inside. 

Researchers were able to use advanced scanning techniques to create an image of its full skeleton. 

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