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Fossil of marine reptile giving birth raises new questions

Rick Docksai | Science Recorder | February 14, 2014

Fossil of marine reptile giving birth raises new questions

A new fossil details the birthing process for dinosaurs.

Paleontologists have unearthed plenty of fossilized eggs and prehistoric reptile babies over the years, but one team in China recently discovered a fossil of an actual birth under way. The study, which was published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, describes an unusual fossil of a marine reptile Chaohusaurus giving birth to triplets.

The fossil is an estimated 248 million years old and depicts a baby exiting from the pelvis of the mother. A second baby was lying next to the mother, and a third was still inside her. The mother appears to have died in labor.

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