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Dinosaur with oldest EVER ‘belly button’ seen in 125-million-year-old fossil from China

Dinosaur with oldest EVER ‘navel’ that attached egg yolk sacs is discovered in 125-million-year-old fossil from China

  • Paleontologists Set Record for Oldest Navel Ever Found in Reptiles and Mammals
  • Researchers used laser imaging technology to reveal the details
  • The 125-million-year-old fossil was found in China two decades ago

The oldest navel ever found by paleontologists on a 125-million-year-old fossil of a biped in China.

The barely noticeable navel spot belongs to a reptile in the genus psittacosaurus who lived in the Cretaceous.

Researchers note that dinosaurs did not have umbilical cords, unlike humans, because they laid eggs.

A 3D reconstruction of a supine Psittacosaurus with the long umbilical cord scar surrounded by distinctive scales identified by the research team

A 3D reconstruction of a supine Psittacosaurus with the long umbilical cord scar surrounded by distinctive scales identified by the research team

Instead, dinosaurs’ yolk sac was attached directly to the body through a slit-like opening, which is also found in other egg-laying land animals.

It is this opening that closed around the time the animal hatched, leaving behind a distinctive long navel scar.

Although the egg-laying nature of dinosaurs predicts a long navel scar, this study is the first to support this hypothesis with fossil evidence.

Scientists saw the marking when they exposed the fossil to a specific laser beam.

“This Psittacosaurus specimen is probably the most important fossil we have for studying dinosaur skin,” said vertebrate paleontologist Phil Bell, a senior lecturer in the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England at Armidale. Australia, in a pronunciation

“But it continues to bring surprises that we can bring to life with new technology like laser imaging.”

Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) image of the entire Psittacosaurus specimen showing the location of the umbilical cord scar.  Inserts show the close-up of the umbilical cord scar, including the distinctive scales surrounding it (highlighted in blue in the line drawing)

Laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF) image of the entire Psittacosaurus specimen showing the location of the umbilical cord scar. Inserts show the close-up of the umbilical cord scar, including the distinctive scales surrounding it (highlighted in blue in the line drawing)

The findings were published in the International Journal of Biology BMC Biology

“Using LSF imaging, we identified distinctive scales that surrounded a long umbilical cord scar in the specimen, similar to certain living lizards and crocodiles. We call this type of scar a navel, and it’s smaller in humans,” said Dr. Michael Pittman. , assistant professor of the Chinese University School of Hong Kong’s School of Life Sciences.

“This specimen is the first dinosaur fossil to retain a navel, thanks to its exceptional state of preservation.”

The early Cretaceous horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus was discovered in northeastern China and is a distant relative of Triceratops

The early Cretaceous horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus was discovered in northeastern China and is a distant relative of Triceratops

Well-preserved, this particular fossil was announced last year for having discovered the first ever dinosaur butthole.

“The anatomy is unique,” lead researcher Jakob Vinther, a paleobiologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, told Live Science. It doesn’t quite resemble the opening of birds, which are the closest living relatives to dinosaurs. “It’s its own cloaca, formed in its perfect, unique way,” Vinther said.

The specimen is on display at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

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