Friday, July 29, 2005

Herald Sun: 190 million-year-old beasts [29jul05]


SCIENTISTS have uncovered the oldest dinosaur embryos ever found, dating to the beginning of the Jurassic age 190 million years ago.

The South African find, which has taken years to decipher, is helping them understand the development of a long-necked, plant-eating giant called Massospondylus carinatus.

The discovery is producing three important results, Robert R Reisz of the University of Toronto said.

Some of the embryos were clearly ready to hatch, Mr Reisz said, but they had no teeth, and that suggested that some form of parental care was required, not just protecting but active feeding.

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