A 10-year-old boy in China who was playing outside near a lake has accidentally made an incredible discovery!
The boy unearthed a fossilized egg that later led to the discovery of a 66 million years old, very rare dinosaur nest.
The find is one of many in a city that has become famed for its number of dinosaurs finds, especially fossilized dinosaur eggs.
The eggs, which date back to a time before dinosaurs became extinct, measure around nine centimetres in diameter and are relatively well preserved and in tact.
Zhang Yangzhe, the boy who made the discovery said that at first, he thought he saw ‘many discarded walnuts’ on the ground where he was playing on the east bank of the Dongjiang Bridge in the city on Tuesday (July 23).
When he looked a little closer, the third-grade student told Heyuan Radio and Television Station that he saw a ‘cement circle’ in the ground which looked like 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 mother, Li Xiaofang, told news outlets that her son was in the third grade of Baoyuan Primary School in Heyuan, and loves to read books about dinosaurs.
His mother stated that his school also teaches the students about dinosaurs and the discoveries made around the area. The school insists that they should inform their parents or the police if they happen to come across dinosaur eggs, and that they should belong 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.”
Because Heyuan City has officially been honoured by China Geological Survey’s Stratum and Paleontology Center as the ‘Hometown of the Dinosaur’ in China, education authorities in the area decided to place a large emphasis on the subject in schools.
Heyuan is in the Guinness Book of World Records after more than 10,008 dinosaur egg fossils were throughout the city with Chinese fossils accounting for one third of the total found in the world.
The boy’s mother was quick to call the police and he had shown her what he’d found. Police arrived swiftly at the scene along with experts from the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum. The paleontologists were soon able to confirm would they expected – the round stone was actually dinosaur egg fossils.
What’s more, archaeologists from the museum later discovered another litter of dinosaur egg fossils neaby, and excavated another 10 more eggs.
Huang Dong, the curator of the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum, confirmed to Beijing News via Global Times that the fossils originated from the late Cretaceous period.
“The 11 dinosaur eggs with a diameter of eight to nine centimeters are nearly 65 million years old.”
The eggs have now been transported to Heyuan Dinosaur Museum for further analysis. Researchers hope to identify the type of eggs and to clean and repair them.
Well, one thing’s for certain – this won’t be a day that Zhang forgets any time soon!