WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THESE ROCKS?
(HINT: THEY’VE GOT SOMETHING SURPRISING INSIDE)
They are actually dinosaur eggs, laid by the two-legged, duck-billed hadrosaurus, which lived in marshy areas during the Cretaceous Period. This batch was found in China in 1993, and can now be seen in Cape Town at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! exhibition. China’s Heyuan City is a treasure trove of dino eggs – the latest find was last year, when 19 were unearthed during road repairs. More than 15 000 fossilised eggs have been found in Heyuan since the 1990s, but there have also been finds in Argentina, Canada and South Africa. Our dinosaur eggs are rather special too: they are the oldest ever found (190 million years old), laid by the long-necked, vegetarian massospondylus (one of the earliest dinosaurs). Six eggs were found back in 1976 at Rooidraai in the Golden Gate National Park, near Clarens; then ten nests of eggs in the same area in 2012 – along with tiny footprints of hatchlings. Scientists say the clusters indicate that dino mothers returned to the same spot to lay eggs, two at a time. Believe it or not!
The Ripley’s exhibition is at the Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, all through summer. Tickets from R150. ripleyscapetown.com