• Question: Can dinosaur eggs be sourced from the found dinosaur fossil

    Asked by Meet1raws on 29 Apr 2024.
    • Photo: Zoe Vance

      Zoe Vance answered on 29 Apr 2024:

      I have heard of people finding fossilised eggs, but you probably mean can we make a viable egg that would hatch from the fossils. I think that’s almost definitely a no, I can’t see us ever recovering enough dinosaur DNA to reconstruct one. Just too much time has passed since the extinction (about 66 million years!) so most of the DNA has decayed away at this point. I think the oldest informative DNA we’ve found so far is around 2 million years old.

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 29 Apr 2024:

      You can sometimes find dinosaur fossils buried with their nests of eggs. We’ve even found dinosaur skeletons still inside eggs, fossilised before they even hatched! But if the fossil isn’t already preserved with eggs, we can’t engineer a new egg from the fossil material (although we’re getting better at matching species so we can work out what kinds of eggs came from what kinds of dinosaurs).

      As Zoe says, we probably won’t ever be able to build a dinosaur egg from the leftover genetic material in fossils. The more time passes, the more DNA decays, and dinosaurs are too old for the DNA to be really usable anymore. (And, unfortunately, we don’t have any close enough living relatives to fill in the gaps – we can’t just stick any old DNA in there like they did in Jurassic Park!)

    • Photo: Lisa Mullan

      Lisa Mullan answered on 2 May 2024:

      You can’t get eggs from a fossil as in order to produce an egg, the animal has to be living. However, some fossilised dinosaur eggs have been found. They are millions of years old and they have survived because they have slowly been turned to stone and minerals over that time, so there won’t be any baby dinosaurs hatching!