The mystery revolving around the discovery of a 66-million-year-old egg, a.k.a ‘The Thing,’ in Antarctica has finally been resolved by scientists. Read on to know the surprising history behind this fossil egg. By Amitha Ameen
A Nature paper describes a football-sized soft-shelled egg from approximately 66 million-year-old Cretaceous deposits of Antarctica. It is one of the largest eggs; second only in size to those laid by the extinct elephant bird from Madagascar. https://t.co/knkNb5wGPZ pic.twitter.com/GXhA1XPR90
— Nature (@nature) June 18, 2020
The fossil egg was initially discovered in Antarctica’s Seymour Island by Chilean scientists in a rock formation, alongside several dinosaur fossils. The findings were then kept in Chile’s National Museum of Natural History.
Resembling a deflated football, the 66-million-year-old egg was initially nicknamed ‘The Thing’ by scientists who were yet to figure out what it was. After a lot of research, scientists now claim that the egg could belong to a giant sea lizard or snake from the era of dinosaurs.
Said to be the second-largest egg in the world, some reports suggest that the egg could actually be 68-million-years-old. The world’s largest egg position is still held by Madagascar’s extinct giant flightless elephant birds.
View this post on Instagram
Scientists say that the only animals capable of laying an egg of this size in Antarctica were the marine lizards and the long-necked plesiosaurs. This discovery plays a very important role and has changed the notion of scientists who earlier believed that these animals did not lay eggs but instead were completely viviparous.
This discovery makes us wonder what else we are yet to learn and unlearn about our past!