Back in 1993, a group of Chinese farmers stumbled upon the fossilized remains of a dinosaur nest. Among broken egg shells, researchers managed to identify a dinosaur embryo, its species eluding them. Without any means of categorizing it, the embryo was given the name of Baby Louie, becoming the first documented orphan dinosaur.
The Orphan Dinosaur Now Has Its Own Species
After spending over two decades searching for its parents – and failing – researchers came to the conclusion that Baby Louie is part of a previously unknown oviraptorosaurs species. Therefore, 24 years after being unearthed by farmers, Baby Louie officially received the name of Beibeilong sinesis – which loosely translated as baby dragon from China.
While Louie is a baby, researchers estimated that when its species reached maturity, it likely resembled a dragon from tales of yore. Experts believe that Beibeilong sinesis specimens looked a lot like modern-day cassowaries – a ruthless bird with sharp, deadly claws that wreaks havoc in the tropical forests of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The Beibeilong sinesis Was a Terrifying Sight
However, no matter how menacing the cassowary seems, the Beibeilong sinesis would have made it look like a defenseless sparrow. Competing with giraffes in terms of size and weight, Baby Louie’s mother probably weighed about 3 tons and measured approximately 26 feet.
The oviraptorosaurs’ eggs alone weighed about 11 pounds each, making Baby Louie the biggest dinosaur baby ever unearthed. Due to its gargantuan proportions, many believed that the orphan dinosaur was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. However, the rest of the eggs in the nest looked nothing like those of a T-Rex, having the same shape as those of oviraptorosaurs. The only problem was that they were approximately 10 times bigger than anything paleontologists ever studied before.
Things changed in 2007 when Chinese researchers found the first skeleton on a giant oviraptorosaur, proving that Baby Louie was, indeed, part of the extended family. At the moment, there are only three sets of giant oviraptorosaur remains, Baby Louie being one of them.
Image Source: Wikipedia