World’s largest reptile egg measuring more than 11 inches long found in Antarctica
The world's largest reptile egg measuring more than 11 inches long and 7 inches wide has been found in Antarctica. According to researchers, the gigantic egg was apparently laid by a sea monster about 68 million years ago.
"It is from an animal the size of a large dinosaur — but it is completely unlike a dinosaur egg," lead author Lucas Legendre, a geoscientist at the University of Texas, said.
He added that the reptile which had laid this egg would have been at least 23 feet long from the tip of its snout to its tail. The findings of the study were published in Nature on Wednesday (June 17). The species has been named Antarcticoolithus bradyi.
"It is most similar to the eggs of lizards and snakes — but it is from a truly giant relative of these animals. The egg belonged to an individual that was at least 23 feet long — a giant marine reptile," Legendre said.
"The almost-complete, football-sized soft-shelled egg is one of the largest eggs ever described," corresponding author Julia Clarke, also of UT, was quoted as saying by Fox News.
Marine deposits near the origin of egg have erlier yielded the remains of mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, both babies and adults.
"Many authors have hypothesized that this was sort of a nursery site with shallow protected water, a cove environment where the young ones would have had a quiet setting to grow up," Legendre said.