April 18, 2012
Scientists Claim World’s Largest Dinosaur Eggs Found In Chechnya
Scientists from Chechnya said on Tuesday they have discovered what seem to be the largest fossilized dinosaur eggs ever recorded while combing a remote mountainous area of the North Caucasus region.
Images of the large stash of dinosaur eggs were uploaded by the Chechen State University to its website following the exciting discovery, which occurred on April 9 during an expedition to study two waterfalls that had been previously uncharted. The remote site was shown after the images were publicized, and the university is calling the discovery a “sensational find.”
“There are boulders on the slopes of the mountain, and among them we noticed smooth globes,” Said-Magomed Dzhabrailov, a geographer at the Chechen State University, told RFE/RL. “We got closer and saw that they didn´t look like stones. We concluded that they were dinosaur eggs, because the shells, the whites and the yolks were clearly visible. Their diameter ranges between 63 centimeters and one meter [24 inches and 40 inches, respectively].”
“There have never been such large (eggs) in the world,” said the discovery team.
The scientists who discovered the 40+ eggs say they believe they could date back roughly 60 million years ago, right at the end of the dinosaurs reign on Earth.
They said the fossilized specimens were unearthed when a construction crew was blasting through a hillside to build a road near the region´s border with Georgia in the Caucasus Mountains.
A group of paleontologists have been sent from Moscow to examine the site and conduct radiocarbon dating tests that should confirm exactly how old the fossilized specimens are. While the Chechen scientists are “90 percent” confident what they have found are truly prehistoric eggs, one paleontologist from Moscow is skeptical.
“Unfortunately, it´s not true. Dinosaurs laid small eggs,” Valentina Nazarova of the Moscow State University´s paleontology department, told the AFP news agency. She added that it was unlikely that dinosaurs had ever lived in the mountainous North Caucasus.
“Dinosaurs didn´t lay eggs while jumping about like mountain goats,” Nazarova remarked.
The war-ravaged country has been trying hard to rebuild its economy by hosting extravagant sports and entertainment events and planning to build a large ski resort. Dzhabrailov said the Chechen government was considering turning the area into a nature preserve hoping to attract tourists.
But Nazarova said if they really want to increase tourism, they should´ve “said the eggs were laid by a mythical Roc bird,” a giant bird that is featured in the popular Arabian Nights tales.
She said she truly felt sorry for them, but she could not go against science.