Chinese Boy Accidentally Finds 66-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Eggs
The Beijing Youth Daily revealed that a 9-year-old primary school student from Heyuan, South China’s Guangdong province, accidentally discovered what he suspected to be a dinosaur egg fossil while playing with his mom on the downtown riverbank.
Later, the mom of the boy, Li Xiaofang, approached the local museum whose staff members went and dug even more dinosaur eggs around the site. The 11 dinosaur egg fossils date back to 66 million years ago. Li said later in an interview that she and her son, Zhang Yangzhe, were playing near the Dongjiang River.
“The bridge over the river has been damaged by the flood, and the soil below the abutment was exposed,” she said. This is what helped the boy to find the eggs.
“He found an eggshell on the slope (of the broken bridge) and called me immediately to tell me about his discovery, saying it seemed like a dinosaur egg,” said Li.
She added that the boy had recently visited the local dinosaur museum where he saw various shapes of dinosaur egg fossils, some complete while others are broken, which helped him recognize the dinosaur egg at a glance.
Soon after the excavation of the first one, another was also unearthed about 80 cm above the previous spot on the slope.
Knowing their archeological values, his mother Li contacted Heyuan Dinosaur Museum via the help of a friend.
The city, known as the “hometown of dinosaurs”, has discovered a large number of dinosaur eggs and bone fossils since 1996.
A dinosaur research institute named China’s Ancient Animal Museum and Dinosaur Egg Museum, also known as the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum, has been established in the city.
Huang Zhiqing, deputy director of the research department of Heyuan Dinosaur Museum, said they rushed to the scene with police after receiving the news.
A total of 11 “stone eggs” each about 9 centimeters in diameter were excavated, later verified as dinosaur eggs all dating back to the late Cretaceous age, according to the local museum.
Huang Zhiqing said houses were built at the place where the dinosaur eggs were discovered, so the soil softens as time flies. Dinosaur egg fossils that remain in good condition despite water and erosion are extremely rare.
Huang Zhiqing said the museum will organize manpower to clean and repair these dinosaur egg fossils. They will also find an appropriate time to re-examine and further excavate the abutment.
“Maybe we will discover new things,” Huang Zhiqing said.
Li said the child’s recognition of the dinosaur egg is inseparable from his education.
“Maybe because of the city’s environment, he is full of curiosity about everything related to dinosaurs,” she said, adding that he goes to libraries and museums to search for information he is curious about.