Dinosaur Babies

One of the things that came up on the show today was this news story involving Prof. Mike Benton, a palaeontologist from the University of Bristol. Up until now it was thought that all dinosaurs laid eggs, but a new discovery in China has turned all that on its head. A fossil of a plesiosaur-like creature called Dinocephalosaurus has evidence of what looks like a well-developed baby inside of the adult. That means that Dinocephalosaurus must have given birth to live young, just like whales and dolphins. On the face of it, this makes good sense. An animal that size isn’t going to find it easy to lay eggs on a beach the way turtles do. But it does seem to be a major new piece of evidence, always assuming of course that the news media has got it right.

2 thoughts on “Dinosaur Babies

  1. The science is awesome, but the news media are – as usual – calling it a ‘dinosaur’ when it is related to dinosaurs, but not as closely as crocodiles or birds are. Though I can’t really complain, given that I worked on CBeebies Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and we had tons of non-dinosaurs in that! 🙂
    Thanks for pointing out the article.

  2. It’s been known since 1845 that ichthyosaurs, dolphin-like marine reptiles incapable of climbing onto land, bore live young. Admittedly, they are some way from dinosaurs in relation, being closer to plesiosaurs (Dinocephalosaurus may be plesiosaur like, but it isn’t a plesiosaur).

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