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Birdlike egg from Cretaceous of Zhejiang Province, China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:

Shukang Zhang, Xingsheng Jin, Jingmai K. O'Connor, Min Wang & Junfang Xie (2014)
A new egg with avian egg shape from the Upper Cretaceous of Zhejiang
Province, China.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)
DOI:10.1080/08912963.2014.902451
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08912963.2014.902451#.U06Z3_ldXeI

A new egg is described from the Upper Cretaceous lacustrine deposit of
the Chichengshan Formation in the Tiantai Basin, Zhejiang Province,
southeast China. The new specimen shares eggshell micro-features with
members of the oofamily Stalicoolithidae, Paraspheroolithus of the
oofamily Spheroolithidae and Mosaicoolithus (oofamily indet.), with
barrel-shaped cones, prolatocanaliculate pore system, horizontal
accretion lines and light stripes throughout the eggshell. However,
the new egg differs from the aforementioned ootaxa by its small size
and asymmetrical shape, revealing new morphological variation among
eggs with microstructure similar to that of Paraspheroolithus,
Mosaicoolithus and Stalicoolithidae. We refer the new egg to a new
oogenus and oospecies, thus increasing the diversity of the Tiantai
Basin oofauna. The Tiantai Basin has yielded a variety of dinosaur
eggs and one turtle clutch. Comparatively, the new egg is surprisingly
small and ovoid, a morphology usually associated with avian eggs,
although the absence of a squamatic layer excludes the egg from being
referred to this group.
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