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Preserved dinosaur embryo found inside fossilized egg

Researchers nicknamed the embryo "Baby Yingliang."

GANZHOU, Jiangxi — For anyone interested in dinosaurs, here is something for you.

A preserved dinosaur embryo was found inside a fossilized egg that came from Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, in southern China and was obtained in 2000 by researchers, CBS reports.

While researchers speculated there were egg fossils inside, the embryo was put into storage for 10 years, the media outlet explains. The boxes of fossils were brought back to light once construction started at Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum.

"Museum staff identified them as dinosaur eggs and saw some bones on the broken cross-section of one of the eggs," CBS reports Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences, Beijing, said in a news release. 

Inside, a little embryo was found, which they nicknamed "Baby Yingliang."

The egg is reportedly seven inches long and the dinosaur inside is said to be 11 inches long from head to tail, according to CNN. If the dinosaur lived as an adult, researchers believe "it would have been about six to nine feet long."

Baby dinosaur bones are fragile and are only rarely preserved as fossils, which makes this a lucky find, CNN reports Darla Zelenitsky, a geoscience associate professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, said.

"It is an amazing specimen...I have been working on dinosaur eggs for 25 years and have yet to see anything like it," Zelenitsky said to CNN.

"Up until now, little has been known of what was going on inside a dinosaur's egg prior to hatching, as there are so few embryonic skeletons, particularly those that are complete and preserved in a life pose."

While studying the embryo, researchers were able to find the dinosaur was in a "tucking posture" which is considered unique to birds, CBS explains.

"We were surprised to see this embryo beautifully preserved inside a dinosaur egg, lying in a bird-like posture, Waisum Ma of the University of Birmingham said to CBS. "This posture had not been recognized in non-avian dinosaurs before."

With some of the body parts still covered in rocks, researchers will continue to study more in-depth and try to image its internal anatomy, the media outlet explains.

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