Excited scientists are hatching eggs recently found in 130 million-year-old dinosaur nest in South Africa.
“The embryos are still intact and we can extract enough DNS to clone the creatures,” one scientist said. “In effect, we can hatch the eggs just as well as the mommy dino could.”
In all, 340 eggs belonging to a primitive dinosaur species named Massopondylus, a smaller ancestor of the gigantic, long-decked sauropods of the Jurassic period, were found in 34 separate nests.
“The nests were covered by a mud flow that happened very quickly, possible the result of an earthquake,” the scientist said. “That’s why the embryos are so well preserved. They still contain viable DNA and within a month or so we will successfully clone one or several of the creatures.”
Although the mother who tended the nest was about 50 feet long, her eggs are only about three times the size of chicken eggs.
“For that reason we will be using ostrich eggs to grow the embryos until they hatch,” the scientist said. “There is no reason at all that the dinosaur babies will not be healthy and ready to fend for itself.”
Sources close to the South African government say TV networks in the United States and Europe are prepared to bid high for the exclusive coverage of the dinosaur births.
“They want to film a live dinosaur pecking its way out of a shell,” the scientist said, “the first time it’s happened in 60 million years. It will be a wonderful experience for TV viewers across the world.”