Scientists Have Solved The Mystery Of The "Ball" From Antarctica
An international team of scientists has found out that a mysterious fossil in the form of a deflated ball, discovered in 2011 in Antarctica, is an egg laid millions of years ago by a giant marine reptile. The researchers' findings are published in the journal Nature.
After examining the fossil with microscopes, experts found several layers of membrane, which confirmed the guess that it was an egg with a softshell. Experts also determined the age of the find, about 66 million years.
Since the egg turned out to be empty, in order to find out which creature laid it, researchers had to compare the proportions of the bodies of 259 living reptiles with the size of their eggs, and then study a catalog of extinct creatures that fit the size. As a result, scientists concluded that the egg was laid by an ancient marine reptile, mosasaurs.
It is noted that this is the first fossil egg found in Antarctica. The discovery is also valuable because it casts doubt on the prevailing scientific thesis that creatures such as the mosasaur did not lay eggs.