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Pregnant Dinosaur

posted 15 Aug 2011, 14:36 by Mpelembe   [ updated 15 Aug 2011, 14:40 ]
A 78 million-year-old fossil of an aquatic dinosaur appears to prove that its species gave birth to offspring, according to scientists.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Meet Plesiosaur, a 78 million-year-old fossil that could hold key information about this species' breeding habits.

According to the U.S. scientists who authored a recent study, the fossil specimen contained within it an embryonic skeleton with a developing body, including ribs, some vertebrae, shoulders, hips, and paddle bones.

This, they say, establishes that the giant, carnivorous reptile gave birth to live young, rather than hatching its offspring from eggs on land.

Although live birth has been documented in several other groups of aquatic reptiles from the Mesozoic period, no previous evidence of it has been found among plesiosaurs.

Tara Cleary, Reuters