Everyone has got dinosaurs on their mind at the moment since most of the world is going crazy for Jurassic World. The exception to this is of course, Japan who can’t watch the movie until August 5. (Why Japanese movie people? Why?!?!) Not to be left out of the giant lizard game, officials in Hyogo Prefecture have confirmed the discovery of a brand new dinosaur egg. By analyzing the fossil, it is estimated that this new egg is the world’s smallest dinosaur egg ever. That’s a gigantic discovery of the tiniest kind.
Japan is known for being the land of fictional “dinosaurs”, like Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera and other kaiju, but it isn’t as well-known for the actual dinosaurs that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. That isn’t to say that there weren’t any dinosaurs on ancient Japanese lands, but rather that the geological activity that made Japan what it is today was not very fossil-friendly. For this reason, fossils are only commonly found in a few areas in Japan like Hyogo Prefecture, where the shallow coastal plains were more conducive to forming fossils.
A paper published on June 29 reported the discovery of five fossilized dinosaur egg shells in Hyogo’s Tamba City. This discovery has the dinosaur community of Japan in raptor, sorry, rapture, as one of those eggs had never before been unearthed. This new species of egg has a thickness of 0.4 millimeters which is slightly thicker than a chicken egg. Scientists are guessing the estimated weight is about 100 grams (0.22 pounds) making it one of the smallest dinosaur eggs, if not the smallest.
▼ An artistic rendition of the dinosaur that could be found in the egg[tweet https://twitter.com/aides_amano/status/615604358827225088 align=center]
▼ A total of eight fossilized pieces of the new dinosaur egg were found.[tweet https://twitter.com/1001ptsJP/status/615627690259939329 align=center]
The fossils will be on display from July 21 to August 31 at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Sanda, Hyogo. Visitors will be able to get an up-close view of the brand new Nipponoolithus ramosus oogen. et oosp. nov., which basically means “Japan branched stone egg” in Japanese, Greek, and Latin. Perhaps this new egg will also set a record for the wordiest egg name.
Dinosaur aficionados going to see the new fossilized egg shells might also be interested in a trip to the nearby Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, the only dedicated dinosaur museum in Japan. The Katsuyama area of Fukui is known for its many fossils and is the discovery place of two Japanese dinosaurs, the Fukuisaurus and the Fukuiraptor.
▼ But seriously, check out the new egg fossils in Hyogo!
Museum of Nature and Human Activities / 人と自然の博物館
6 Chome, Yayoigaoka, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1546
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:30 p.m.)
Closed: Mondays (Unless a national holiday falls on a Monday, then the following Tuesday is closed)
December 28 – January 2, January 6 – February 5 (maintenance and renovation)
Admission: 210 yen (US $1.71)
Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum / 福井県立恐竜博物館
51-11 Terao, Muroko, Katsuyama, Fukui
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:30 p.m.)
Closed: 2nd and 4th Wednesday, December 29 – January 2 (Note: Open every day during the summer)
Admission: 720 yen ($5.88)