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DINO EGG NEWS
Scientists hope egg will reveal tiny dinosaur
HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Dec 5 (Reuter) - Scientists hope that with a little luck
and the help of modern technology they will discover the well-developed,
well-preserved embryo of a dinosaur inside a fossilized 70 million-year-old egg.
The bowling ball-size egg, discovered by a group of paleontologists in
northwestern Argentina about six months ago, will undergo a CAT scan and
magnetic resonance imaging at a local hospital on Wednesday.
Experts believe the egg is that of a saltasaurus, a herbivorous, long-necked
dinosaur that roamed what is now Argentina during the Cretaceous period.
Dinosaurs disappeared at the end of that era about 65 million years ago.
Dr Martin Shugar, an amateur paleontologist who will perform the tests, said
the egg is a rarity because it is perfectly fossilized and unhatched.
"We have the possibility there could be a fossilized embryo within the egg,"
Scientists say fossilized dinosaur eggs have been found intact before but
they are rare. This is believed to be the best saltasaurus egg ever found and
could help redefine scientific knowledge about the animal and the period.
"There aren't many known specimens of their eggs. It's a major find," said
Dr Edward Petuch, professor of paleontology at Florida Atlantic University.
"If it's a late stage embryo ... it may have ossified bones," he said.
"That's really important because it gives scientists a look at what the juvenile
But Petuch said there was no question of the scientists finding dinosaur
DNA, as in the plot of "Jurassic Park," the hit movie in which researchers used
preserved genetic material to reproduce dinosaurs.
"The chances of any organic traces in here are nil," he said. "Seventy
million years in the ground is too much."
The egg, owned by a private collector, will be on display at the Graves
Museum in Dania, Florida, for two months after the testing.
Fossilized egg reveals embryo but no baby dinosaur
HOLLYWOOD, Fla, Dec 6 (Reuter) - Scientists used modern technology to peek
inside a 70-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur egg on Wednesday and were
disappointed to find a poorly developed embryo instead of a baby saltasaurus.
They had hoped to find a late-stage, fully-developed embryo with a complete
skeleton that would have helped them understand the evolution of the
saltasaurus, a long-necked, herbivor that roamed South America during the
Cretaceous period, the last of three dinosaur eras.
What they found was an early-stage embryo that will not lend much insight
into the development of the great beasts, said Dr Edward Petuch, professor of
paleontology at Florida Atlantic University.
"It was a young embryo, much to our sadness," he said. "It wasn't a
freshly laid egg but it was only a few weeks old."
The egg, discovered about six months ago in northwestern Argentina, was
completely fossilized and unhatched, raising hope that it contained an embryo
in its last stage of development. Other dinosaur eggs have been found intact,
but they are rare, and this was believed to be the best example of a
saltasaurus egg ever found.
At a local hospital, scientists tried x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging
on the bowling ball-size egg but finally got a good look inside it with a CAT
scan. Petuch compared what he saw to a 6-week-old human foetus.
"You could see little pale blobs of cartilage bones and possibly something
that might have been the start of a skull," said Petuch.
While the tests may not have revealed a "major discovery," they did show
that eggs from that era can be fossilized and will give scientists incentive to
search for one that might help them trace the dinosaur's evolution, Petuch
"One of the eggs they find one of these years will have a completely
developed skeleton in it," he said.
Japan's Godzilla faces extinction--maybe
By Linda Sieg
TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuter) - Four decades after first terrorising Tokyo, Japan's
favourite movie monster Godzilla faces final extinction.
Godzilla's creators at moviemaker Toho Co say the huge dinosaur-like villain
will die in his latest film and that the movie, which opens on Saturday, will be
the last of the long-running series.
But they admit that resurrection can't be ruled out.
"As long as Godzilla is a star, he could make a comeback," Toho producer
Shogo Tomiyama told Reuters in an interview.
Godzilla has returned from the dead before.
<I sent only part of the Godzilla article.>
Tuck: Old Buddy, could you Email me a copy of #749. It never got here.