A treasure in eggs

SOME 1,000 dinosaur eggs found in China have become a bone of contention between scientists and commercial collectors (Science, Vol 261, No 5122).

Scientists covet these beautiful and undamaged eggs because they could provide an insight into the Cretaceous period (140-65 million years ago) when dinosaurs roamed the earth. But they are also in great demand by maverick fossil fanciers to whom they are worth as much as $3,000 each.

Given the dearth of documentation on the fossils, some scientists working with fossil dealers have started probing the eggs with CT scans to fill in the missing details.