It’s every science lover’s (and Ross from Friends‘) dream: you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you come across a nest of fossilised dinosaur eggs.
That dream became a reality for one young boy in China when he came across not one, not two, but 11 of the eggs while playing outside with his mum in Heyuan city.
The eggs, which date back some 65 million years ago before the reptiles became extinct, measure approximately nine centimetres in diameter and are still relatively in tact.
The young boy, called Zhang Yangzhe, said he initially saw ‘many discarded walnuts’ in the soil while he played in the open space on the east bank of the Dongjiang Bridge in the city on Tuesday (July 23).
Upon closer inspection, the third-grade student told Heyuan Radio and Television Station he saw what looked like a ‘cement circle’ in the ground which resembled a round stone.
Zhang explained (translated to English):
I thought it was a cement circle at first. Later, I asked my mum to look at it and thought that the shell was like a dinosaur egg.
The boy’s mum, Li Xiaofang, told reporters her son was enrolled in the third grade of Baoyuan Primary School in Heyuan, and usually likes to read books on dinosaurs.
Li went on to say that the school also regularly educates students on dinosaurs, telling them they should inform their parents or the police if they find dinosaur eggs in the wild, and hand them over to the country.
I have learned this knowledge in the books and in the cultural corridor [sic] of the school. I have seen it in museums. Different dinosaur eggs have different shapes.
Children are educated in this way in the area because Heyuan City has officially been honoured by China Geological Survey’s Stratum and Paleontology Center as the ‘Hometown of the Dinosaur’ in China.
Heyuan has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records after more than 10,008 dinosaur egg fossils have been found throughout the city, with those unearthed in China accounting for one third of the total found in the world.
The young boy’s mum immediately called the police after their discovery, who rushed to the scene along with staff from the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum. Experts were soon able to confirm the round stone was exposed to dinosaur egg fossils.
Later, staff from the museum discovered a complete litter of dinosaur egg fossils, and were able to excavate 10 more eggs nearby.
Huang Dong, the curator of the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum, confirmed to Beijing News via Global Times that the fossils came from the late Cretaceous period.
The 11 dinosaur eggs with a diameter of eight to nine centimeters are nearly 65 million years old.
The complete set of eggs have been taken to Heyuan Dinosaur Museum for further studies to identify the type of eggs and to clean and repair them.
Well, this is certainly a day Zhang won’t be forgetting in a hurry!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).