Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Dinosaur eggs get world premiere

A fossilised nest of 26 dinosaur eggs is displayed at the Museum Centre in Cincinnati (AP)

A fossilised nest of eggs laid by an unknown species of dinosaur is part of an exhibit making its world debut at an Ohio museum.

The exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Centre will feature fossils found by Chinese palaeontologists, digging in the north-central region of their country.

They include a rib more than 9ft long from a species of the titanosaur family. Palaeontologists believe the rib came from an animal probably close to 100ft long and weighing 32 to 87 tons. Some of the exhibit bones are from two species that lived 89 million to 100 million years ago, the museum said.

"These fossils represent some of the latest fossil discoveries from China," Glenn Storrs, the museum's curator of vertebrate palaeontology, said.

Discovery of the fossils from the titanosaur family was important to the field of palaeontology, enabling identification of two new species of titanosaur, he said.

Canadian-based dinosaur exhibition company Dinosaurs Unearthed developed the exhibit in partnership with the museum and the Henan Geological Museum in China. The Henan museum owns the fossils.

Most of the fossils in the Dinosaur Bones: Titans of the Ruyang exhibit were found in the village of Shaping, commonly referred to as "Dragon Village", in the Ruyang area of Henan province.

Researchers found that villagers had been digging up bones for years, believing them to be the remains of dragons. The villagers would grind the bones up for medicine, believing it would heal ailments including epilepsy and dysentery.

The new exhibit also features three roaring, moving animatronic dinosaurs and a periscope that the museum says will allow visitors a "dinosaur-eye view" of their surroundings.

The exhibit runs from Friday until January 2 and there are tentative plans for it to tour the US before moving to Canada in 2012.

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