9th December 2023
Accidentally Chinese Schoolboy found 66 million-year-old dinosaur eggs 
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Accidentally Chinese Schoolboy found 66 million-year-old dinosaur eggs

A 10-year-old schoolboy in China, while playing in a lake accidentally discovered a fossilized egg that led to a 66 million-year – old, very rare dinosaur nest. The discovery is just the latest in a town famous for its number of dinosaurs discovered, in particular fossilized eggs.

The discovery took place in the town of Héyuán, Guangdong province. Zhang Yangzhe was playing on an embankment, near the Dong River under the supervision of his mother when he made the find.

Third-grade Zhang Yangzhe (pictured) made the extraordinary discovery while playing on the embankment of Dong River in Heyuan, southern China’s Guangdong Province
Third-grade Zhang Yangzhe (pictured) made the extraordinary discovery while playing on the embankment of Dong River in Heyuan, southern China’s Guangdong Province


Ladbible says “he tried to find something that could crack open walnuts.” Zhang loves science, and was always intrigued by dinosaurs, so that’s a lifetime discovery.

While digging in the soil, the schoolboy saw the Sun reveal a “strange stone.” The stone was embedded in the red soil and he slowly dug it up. The Daily Mail notes that “he assumed that the rock had ‘circles’ on its surface at first.” He first thought it may have been a piece of cement.

Upon further inspection, he knew that it was something unusual and suspected that it was a dinosaur egg, based on its particular shape. He told local media that ‘‘I have learned this knowledge in books and in the cultural corridor of the school” reports Ladbible. He called his mother, Li Xiaofang to help him to understand what he had found, and she agreed that he may have found a dinosaur egg.

 The schoolboy found 11 eggs in total.
The schoolboy found 11 eggs in total.

They immediately contacted the local museum about their find and they both stood guard over the site until experts arrived on the scene and secured it.

Experts immediately confirmed that the strange stone was a fossilized egg. In the following days, they began to excavate the site where Zhang had made his discovery. During the dig, they found ten more eggs that were identical to the one discovered by the schoolboy.

They determined that Zhang had found a dinosaur nest because they were all unearthed in a small area. The fossils are approximately 3.5 inches (9.1 cm) in diameter.

The experts have taken the eggs away for further examination at the local Héyuán Dinosaur Museum. They are believed to be an astonishing 66 million years old. Huang Ding, who formerly was a director at the local Heyuan Museum, stated that ‘‘that the fossils came from the late Cretaceous period’’ according to the Daily Mail . This was the era just prior to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago.

The discovery of a rare dinosaur nest is not that unusual in the city of Héyuán, which has a population of three million inhabitants. There have been numerous finds of dinosaur fossils and especially eggs. According to the Sun, because of the discoveries, ‘Héyuán has become known as China’s “home of dinosaurs”.

The first major find of dinosaur eggs was in 1996, also near the Dong River, where the schoolboy made his find. In 2015 workmen laying sewage pipes found a batch of over 40 eggs. The Daily Mail reports that ‘‘more than 17,000 of them have been dug out in the city’’. Over 10,000 of them are now stored or on display at the local Héyuán Museum. Its collection of fossilized prehistoric eggs is regarded as one of the most extensive anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile in the United States, another significant dinosaur finding was made by a student this week. Harrison Duran, a college student at the University of California, who has been obsessed with dinosaurs since early childhood, discovered the partial skull of a 65 million-year-old triceratops at Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota.

The Washington Post reports that a cast of the skull will be made and displayed at the university so Duran can share his discovery with the campus community.

Harrison Duran with the triceratops skull in North Dakota
Harrison Duran with the triceratops skull in North Dakota

Further Research on the Eggs

The researchers in China are now trying to determine which species of dinosaur laid the eggs, tens of millions of years ago. The remarkable find of a dinosaur nest will help experts to better understand the prehistoric creatures just prior to their extinction. One day, the young boy may have the satisfaction of seeing his discovery on display at the local museum.