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‘Baby Louie’ dinosaur identified as a new species

Famous embryo fossil can add Beibeilong sinensis to its name

By
4:00pm, May 9, 2017
illustration of Beibeilong sinensis

WARMING UP  Nesting birdlike dinosaurs called Beibeilong sinensis incubated their eggs (illustrated). This new species was identified thanks to a recent examination of “Baby Louie,” a famous dinosaur embryo discovered in the 1990s.

A fossil dinosaur embryo known as “Baby Louie” has a new name. It belongs to a newly identified species of dinosaur called Beibeilong sinensis, researchers report May 9 in Nature Communications.

In the 1980s and 1990s, farmers found thousands of fossilized dinosaur eggs in the rocks of Henan Province in China and sold them overseas. It turned out that one chunk of rock, purchased by a company that sells museum-quality fossils and rock specimens, held not only eggs but also an embryonic dinosaur skeleton. It was dubbed “Baby Louie,” after a National Geographic photographer whose images of it appeared in a cover story for the magazine.

Paleontologists knew Baby Louie was some kind of oviraptorosaur, a two-legged, birdlike dinosaur. But its species was a mystery. So in 2015, Junchang Lü of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing and colleagues returned

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