A 125 million-year-old dinosaur fossil has the oldest navel known to science


Paleontologists have discovered the oldest navel known to science on a 125 million-year-old dinosaur fossil from the genus Psittacosaurus. Oh, the first ever anal hole of a dinosaur was also found on the fossil.

According to Live Science, Psittacosaurus lived in the Cretaceous period, that is, from 145 to 66 million years ago, and scientists discovered this navel after exposing the fossil to a concentrated beam of laser light.

Artistic visualization of Psittacosaurus

These scientists reported their findings in the journal BMC Biology on June 7 and say they noticed a “thin trace of an umbilical scar” that represents “a slight shift in the skin pattern and scales on the belly of a dinosaur and is the equivalent of a reptile.” the belly button of a mammal.”

While mammalian embryos get their nutrients from the placenta, birds and reptiles get what they need from the yolk sac, which is connected to the abdominal cavity through blood vessels. When these types of creatures hatch, the yolk is absorbed by the body, and only the scar on the abdomen remains.

In most birds and reptiles, the scar heals within a few days or weeks, but in some reptiles, including alligators, the scar may be “beyond puberty”. This fossil has shed new light on dinosaurs and indicates that some dinosaurs did have scars that did not heal at an early stage.

The fossil, known as SMF R 4970, was an early type of ceratopsians called Psittacosaurus mongoliensis, which fell into a group of beaked herbivores, including triceratops. It was discovered about 20 years ago and is so well preserved because the dinosaur “fossilized while lying on its back.” This also led to scientists discovering the previously mentioned “perfect” and “unique” ass.

“Using LSF imaging, we identified distinctive scales surrounding a long umbilical scar in a psittacosaurus specimen, similar to [scars] in some living lizards and crocodiles,” says paleontologist Michael Pittman, associate professor at the School of Life Sciences of the Chinese University. Hong Kong,” the message reads. “We call this kind of navel scar, and people have it smaller. This specimen is the first dinosaur fossil to have preserved the navel, which is due to its exceptional state of preservation.”

In addition to its importance to science, this fossil has also become the subject of “fierce disputes about repatriation.” The fossil was discovered in an unknown region of China in the 80s or 90s and “was allegedly smuggled out of the country to underground European markets before being bought and put on display in 2001 at the Zenkenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.”


“There are ongoing disputes about the legal ownership of this sample, and attempts to repatriate it to China have not been successful. Our international team, consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, China and America, hopes and supports a peaceful solution to this ongoing dispute. “, – the researchers wrote in their article. “We consider it important to note that the specimen was acquired by the Zenkenberg Museum in order to prevent its sale to private hands and to ensure its availability for scientific research.”

To learn more about dinosaurs, find out how Tyrannosaurus Rex could actually be three separate dinosaurs and newly discovered dinosaurs in England, dubbed the “hell heron” and the “hunter by the river”.

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Adam Bankhurst is an IGN news columnist. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.