First egg from Antarctica is big and might belong to an extinct sea lizard

Measuring in at more than 11 by 7 inches, the egg is the largest soft-shell egg ever discovered and the second-largest egg of any known animal

In 2011, Chilean scientists discovered a mysterious fossil in Antarctica that looked like a deflated football. For nearly a decade, the specimen sat unlabeled and unstudied in the collections of Chile’s National Museum of Natural History, with scientists identifying it only by its sci-fi movie-inspired nickname—”The Thing.”

An analysis led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has found that the fossil is a giant, soft-shell egg from about 66 million years ago. Measuring in at more than 11 by 7 inches, the egg is the largest soft-shell egg ever discovered and the second-largest egg of any known animal.

The specimen is the first fossil egg found in Antarctica and pushes the limits of how big scientists thought soft-shell eggs could grow. Aside from its astounding size, the fossil is significant because scientists think it was laid by an extinct, giant marine , such as a mosasaur—a discovery that challenges the prevailing thought that such creatures did not lay eggs.

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Read more: phys.com