China has discovered the world's first fossil of a "hatched-egg" dinosaur, which may have been a male, with seven eggs that had developed into embryos

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History reports that an international team of scientists in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, has found the world's first "hatched egg" fossil, which is at least 70 million years old. "It's one of the rarest dinosaur fossils ever found," paleontologist Matt Lamanna said.


The world's first fossil of "hatched dinosaur eggs" has been found in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. The hatched dinosaur may have been a male, with seven eggs already developing embryos
Since the 1980s, paleontologists have reportedly unearthed fossilized nests containing dinosaur eggs, but have never seen a specimen of a dinosaur hatching an egg. Fossils from Ganzhou show that the nest contained more than 20 eggs, seven of which had embryos and were about to hatch, and one had developed most of the skeleton.
After analyzing the oxygen isotopes of the embryos, the researchers found that the temperature of the eggs matched that of the dinosaurs above, ranging from 30 to 38 degrees Celsius (86 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
"In the new specimen, the little dinosaur was almost ready to hatch, and the big one gave up its life while it was nurturing its young," Lamanna explained.
It's important to note that modern birds typically wait until all their eggs have been laid before hatching together, but the reasons why the embryos found in the fossils were not at the same stage of development are still being studied.
In addition, the remains of large dinosaurs are likely to be male, suggesting that fathers may also have been involved in brooding, much as the mother and father of ostriches take turns brooding eggs.
The world's first fossil of "hatched dinosaur eggs" has been found in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. The hatched dinosaur may have been a male, with seven eggs already developing embryos

Scientists have also, for the first time, found small stones in the stomachs of large dinosaurs, which means they probably swallowed them to facilitate digestion.