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Re: dino egg in NM
>Tyke with toy strikes dinosaur pay dirt<P>
>AP Photos AQ101-102<P>
>By SUSAN MONTOYA<P>
>Associated Press Writer<P>
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) - Don Shiffler didn't think much about it
his 3-year-old son insisted that the thin, green rock he unearthed with
toy backhoe was a dinosaur egg.
Think again, Dad. Researchers say the "rock" young David Shiffler found
the oldest evidence of a meat-eating, egg-laying dinosaur.
The family was on their way home from a camping trip, having just seen
Land Before Time," a cartoon about a little dinosaur, and Shiffler said
David had dinosaurs on his mind.
"Everything he picked up that day was a dinosaur egg," said Shiffler. He
put the fragment on a shelf in the family garage for nearly two months.
David kept telling his father that the coin-sized fragment, which he dug
in October 1995 near Rio Puerco, west of Albuquerque, was important.
"I knew it was a dinosaur egg," David, now 4, said last week during a
conference at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science,
the fossilized piece of eggshell is now displayed.
After Dad gave in and took the piece to the museum, researchers there
it to Emily Bray, a University of Colorado paleontologist. She
that it was a one-of-a-kind find, which is changing scientists' theories
when meat-eating, egg-laying dinosaurs first appeared.
The fragment, about 150 million years old, gives more evidence that
meat-eating - or therapod - dinosaurs laid hard-shelled eggs during the
upper Jurassic Period, Ms. Bray said.
It also could prove that dinosaur eggs from that era were hard-shelled,
leathery, advancing the theory that modern birds are descendants of
Spencer Lucas, a paleontologist at the New Mexico museum, said the
meat-eating dinosaur egg previously found in North America came from the
Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago.
"If it's from the Jurassic, then it's definitely a first, so then it's
important. It provides some tantalizing ideas," said Kenneth Carpenter,
paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Natural History.
He said more evidence of therapod egg-laying needs to be found from the
Jurassic Period. Most fossilized eggshells are from the late Cretaceous
Period and are found in Mongolia and China, he said.
Fossilized eggshells are rare in the Southwest because the region was
wet during the time of the dinosaurs, and eggs usually don't fossilize
such an environment.
David's discovery now has scientists thinking that meat-eating dinosaurs
laid eggs much earlier than previously thought, Ms. Bray said. Maybe
170 million years ago.
"We just haven't found the evidence yet," she said.
Sam j hogan wrote:
> OK, the evening news here in DC had a report of a find in New Mexico: a
> three year old playing in the dirt found what he claimed to be a dinosaur
> egg. This child was finally believed by his father, who turned the egg
> over to scientists. Now, the names of the child, the father and the
> scientists involved were NOT mentioned, much to my annoyance. However,
> the report claimed that the find was confirmed as being from the Upper
> Jurassic; also stated that the egg was that of an unnamed theropod;
> further, that there could be some more evidence for the dino-to-bird
> theory. Just enought information to be tantalizing and annoying. So,
> who out there has more details? Who has charge of this fossil? Is the
> thing being described, or is work still being done on it? Let the rest
> of us know!!!
> I worship Eris and love fossils
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