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The oldest belly button in the world belongs to this dinosaur

The oldest belly button in the world belongs to this dinosaur

Updated on 06/28/2022 at 09:12

  • Although they laid eggs, a dinosaur’s navel can now be detected.
  • The fossil is already about 130 million years old.
  • Thus, researchers reconstructed the oldest navel in the world.

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Not only mammals, but also dinosaur He had belly buttons. At least that’s what science calls the long, secret scar that has now been found in a specimen that lived about 130 million years ago. Through their research, the so-called paleontologists, who study the prehistoric animal and plant world, have set a new record: it is the oldest navel in the world.

Belly button found in Chinese fossil

Scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) used high-tech laser imaging technology with colleagues from around the world. This enabled them to calculate the smallest details of a 130-million-year-old dinosaur fossil that was found 20 years ago in China is found. The reptile is the so-called psittacosaurus, a two-meter-long herbivore, which has two legs. He lived in China during the Cretaceous period. “This specimen is the first preserved dinosaur fossil, due to its exceptional state of preservation,” Quoting the university d. Michael Batemanone of the study’s co-authors.

Laser-stimulated fluorescence image of a Psittacosaurus specimen showing the location of the umbilical scar. Insets show the umbilical scar in close-up.

© Bell et al. 2022 / BMC Biology

The results of the study were Published in the international journal BMC Biology. In it, the authors wrote: “Unlike most living reptiles and birds that lose this scar within days to weeks after hatching, the navel of psittacosaurus survived at least to sexual maturity, similar to some lizards and crocodiles, with which it shows the greatest morphological similarity.” Thus this discovery is the oldest evidence of a navel in an amniote (also called a navel) and the first in a non-avian dinosaur. “However, due to the diversity of this structure in living reptiles, not all non-avian dinosaurs may have a permanent umbilical scar,” the study says.

Read also: The Extinction of Dinosaurs – Finding in Bavaria Brings New Insights

Egg-laying reptiles: Why did dinosaurs have belly buttons?

Dinosaurs lay eggs. Therefore, unlike humans, they did not have an umbilical cord. However, the reptile’s yolk sac was attached directly to the body via a slit-like opening. about this was Embryo development in the ovum Provided with oxygen and nutrients. When an animal hatched, this opening closed again, but left a long scar in the navel. This study is now the first to support this hypothesis with fossil evidence.

The long umbilical scar can be seen in the 3D reconstruction of a pseudo-psetacosaur.

© Jagged Fang Designs / BMC Biology

Dinosaurs aren’t the only animals that lay eggs with belly buttons. Creatures with secretive scars still exist today, such as snakes and birds. However, these scars are lost a few days or weeks after the offspring hatch from the egg. In other cases, such as the crocodile, the navel remains for life.

By the way: If you want to examine Psittacosaurus, you don’t have to travel to China. The examined specimen is on display at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main.

Sources used:

  • “At least some dinosaurs had belly buttons, an amazing fossil just unearthed”
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Press Release: “CUHK Paleontologist First Exposed Dinosaur Belly Button Using Laser Imaging”
  • BMC Biology: “Oldest Preserved Secret Scar Shows Dinosaurs Had Belly Buttons”
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