In a study published earlier this year, a team of paleontologists has announced the discovery of a 66-million-year-old fossil that was found in Antarctica nearly ten years ago. For some reason, the fossil was not thoroughly studied until recently. The object was discovered in 2011 off the coast of Antarctica on Seymour Island, and has since been stored at Chile’s National Museum of Natural History.
It is likely that researchers didn’t realize what they were dealing with, in fact, there are still many questions about the fossil.
The object is believed to be a soft-shelled egg, and if this is the case, it would be the largest one ever found. Aside from believing that it could have come from a giant swimming reptile or dinosaur, researchers were not really sure what it was or where it came from until the recent study was published. Experts were so puzzled about the object that they had previously referred to it as “The Thing.”
The rock formation where the egg was found also contained skeletons from baby mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, along with adult specimens. This evidence has led the researchers to suggest that the fossils were protected by the remote environment.
Now that they have determined that it is an egg, experts are now in disagreement about what kind of creature the egg could have come from, because it is unlike anything that has ever been discovered from the known species of that time. For one, the shape and dimensions of the egg are not anything like any other dinosaur eggs that have been found so far and the only dinosaurs that lived in Antarctica 66 million years ago are known to have laid hard-shelled eggs, while the sample being studied by researchers is a soft-shelled egg.
The study was published in the science journal Nature this June.