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Bird-like dinosaur fossil with eggs found in Patagonia

(CBS News) - Scientists in Argentina announced on Wednesday that they have discovered in Patagonia the partial skeletal remains and eggs of a new 70-million-year-old dinosaur that resembles a flightless bird.

According to Reuters, researchers believe the eggs were likely fertilized and contained highly-developed embryos and were likely inside the mother dinosaur when she died.

Scientist say the new species, the Bonapartenykus ultimus, was a member of the small, fast-moving, long-legged Alvarezsaurid dinosaur family, according to a report in Cretaceous Research posted by BBC News.

Paleontologist Fernando Novas, who along with fellow Argentine researchers Federico Agnolin and Jaime Powel discovered the fossils, said the bones resemble the skeleton of the Nandu, a flightless rhea native to Patagonia.

Patagonia is about 930 miles southwest of the capital, Buenos Aires.

"What is interesting about this discovery by Jaime Powell was not just that the bones allowed us to recognize the lineage of the dinosaur, but the eggs were also found very close by and allow us to determine the method of reproduction used by these creatures that lived in Argentina around 80 million years ago," Novas said in an interview broadcast by RTV.

He explained this latest research allows scientists to trace the Bonapartenykus ultimus to current birds.

"The fall of the meteorite extinguished many dinosaurs, but a group of carnivorous dinosaurs with extended arms and feathered bodies that we call birds survived until today. So we have a story that goes from 230 million years ago until now. Current birds - like pigeons, hummingbirds, condors or eagles - are living dinosaurs."

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