Paging Michael Crichton: World’s Oldest and Cutest Dino Embryo Found

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A scale model of baby sauropod in its egg is displayed during the "Tiniest Giants: Discovering Dinosaur Eggs" exhibit at Chicagos Field Museum

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

It’s been a banner week for oldest things!

We’ve all seen fossilized dinosaur skeletons in museums. Now a team of Canadian scientists have gone one further: they found skeletons in some remarkably well-preserved dinosaur embryos, that they say at 190 million years old are the oldest yet discovered.

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The embryos belong to the four-legged dino Massospondylus, a Jurassic-era prosauropod. At the risk of igniting a weird dino-pro-life debate, NewsFeed will point out that the embryos are so well-preserved that they show the full skeleton of a baby Massospondylus, and it is adorable. The embryonic skeletons showed a dino that at birth was only eight inches long, with a short neck and an enormous head. (Adult Massospondylus was grew to about 16 feet, with a longer neck and a relatively small head.)

The fossils were found in South Africa and analyzed by a team of researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga. There are no reports yet on how the embryos might be used to obtain dinosaur DNA which can then produce fully grown dinosaurs that could live in a theme park in the Caribbean. (via Discovery)