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What started out as a bright sunny day of rock collecting for a young Chinese boy ended up with a nest of 66 million-year-old dinosaur eggs being discovered. The dino-loving third-grader, nine-year-old Zhang Yangzhe, made the fortuitous find during playtime on the embankments of the Dong River in Heyuan, in southern China's Guangdong Province last week.
While accompanied by his mother, Xi Xiaofang, the precocious youngster was searching for something to crack open walnuts with when he stumbled across one of the semi-rare, round fossils. According to the China Global Television Network report below, Yangzhe is well-versed in dinosaur lore and has read numerous books on the subject.
Xiaofang notified the police immediately and protected the fertile site with Zhang until authorities arrived. Local experts based at the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum quickly identified the specimen as a true fossilized dino egg, measuring approximately 3.5 inches long. Upon further exploration, their team located another 10 Late Cretaceous Period orbs near the original discovery spot. The precious prehistoric eggs were taken to the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum for tests to help determine which species they are from.
"He found an eggshell on the slope (of the broken bridge) and called me immediately to tell me about his discovery, saying it seemed like a dinosaur egg," said Xiaofang in a separate news video.
Apparently her science-loving son had recently visited the regional dinosaur museum where he inspected various shapes of dinosaur egg fossils and remembered their swirled, shell-like surface, which allowed him to him to identify the dinosaur egg.
Proudly known as China's 'home of dinosaurs', Heyuan's population numbers over 3 million. Since 1996, more than 17,000 fossilized dinosaur eggs have been unearthed in the region around the city. That's a lot of dino eggs!