"Anaconda" Meets "Jurassic Park"


Sculpture: Tyler Keillor, Photo: Ximena Erickson, Image modified by Bonnie Miljour

When University of Michigan professor Jeffrey Wilson stumbled upon fossilized dinosaur eggs, he discovered something quite remarkable - a death scene best described as "Anaconda" meets "Jurassic Park":

"It was amazing," Wilson recalls, "because we realized that not only do we have an egg, not only do we have a chain of vertebrae, but they are arranged in a coil, and on top of the coil was a skull."

The snake was coiled around the broken eggshell. "Next to that coil, eggshell, skull, was a solid egg, and another solid egg, and then some larger bones," says Wilson.

Those bones belonged to a baby sauropod. Full-grown sauropods were the vegetarian 100-ton giants of the dinosaur world. But the baby was only about a foot-and-a-half long. It had apparently just hatched from that broken egg. The snake, about 11 feet long, had been waiting for the baby to hatch in order to eat it.

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It seems weird to me that such an event just "froze" and was captured in a fossil. What caused the snake and dino to just all the sudden die and be fossilized before decay?
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