A minor landslip on Dorset’s world-renowned Jurassic Coast may have revealed the find of the century.
A team of palaeontologists and biologists are working around the clock to monitor what is believed to be a fully-intact dinosaur egg that has been suspended and immaculately preserved in a rare pocket of blue amber.
The story – which could have come straight out of the script of the blockbusting movie, Jurassic Park – has stunned scientists the world over.
A delicate DNA extraction process has revealed the egg was laid by one of the larger apex predators, very likely a tyrannosaurus rex, some 60 million years ago.
The egg, which has a fourteen-inch circumference, was discovered on a sheltered cove near the coastal town of Lyme Regis by a couple playing frisbee with their pet labradoodle, who coincidently is called ‘Rex’.
What makes the find even more remarkable is the egg’s state of suspended animation, known scientifically as hyper-amberprication; an extremely rare process similar, in theory, to cryogenics.
“This means that under the right incubation conditions there is a chance that the egg might be able to return to its early stages of embryotic development,” said Venessa Raptor of the Institute of Very Old Dinosaur Bones. “So, yes, we really could have a real-life T-Rex running about in a few weeks’ time”.
“I haven’t slept since I heard about the find,” said well-known local fossil hunter, Dick Lodocus, who has been sleeping in a tent outside the make-shift research centre (a Lyme Regis scout hut) ever since the news was leaked. “It doesn’t get much bigger than this. I dreamed this day would come and that dinosaurs would once again roam the Dorset coast.”
But not everyone in Lyme Regis is excited about the miraculous unearthing with real concerns about the damaging impact a live tyrannosaurus might have on tourism. “This isn’t a New Forest pony we’re talking about, it’s a forty-foot long, nine-ton super-predator,” said Terry Dactyl of the Lyme Regis tourist information centre.
If all goes according to plan, a live, twenty-four-hour webcam is going to be set up above the egg incubator so that people all over the world can witness the hatching.
Happy April Fools’ Day from all at Toad Hall Cottages