The largest reptile egg in the world, more than 11 inches long and 7 inches wide, has been found in Antarctica. According to researchers, the gigantic egg was apparently laid by a sea monster some 68 million years ago.
“It’s from an animal the size of a large dinosaur — but it’s completely different from a dinosaur egg,” said lead author Lucas Legendre, a geoscientist at the University of Texas.
He added that the reptile that had laid this egg would have been at least 23 feet long from the tip of its snout to its tail. The findings of the study were published in Nature on Wednesday (17 June). The species was named Antarcticoolithus bradyi.
“It is most similar to the eggs of lizards and snakes — but it is from a truly giant relative of these animals. The egg belonged to an individual who was at least 23 feet long — a giant marine reptile,” Legendre said.
“The almost-complete, soccer-sized soft-shelled egg is one of the largest eggs ever described,” said the corresponding author Julia Clarke, also from UT, as Fox News said.
Marine deposits near the origin of the eggs have yielded the remains of mosaurs and plesiosaurs, both infants and adults.
“Many authors have hypothesized that this was sort of a nursery site with shallow protected water, a cove environment where the young ones would have had a quiet setting to grow up,” Legendre said.