[ti:Antarctica’s ‘Football’ Fossil Is World’s Second-Biggest Egg] [by:pzw8555.cn] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问pzw8555.cn [00:00.04]Scientists recently reported an unusual finding: [00:06.32]the discovery of the second-largest egg known to exist. [00:12.24]The egg, a 68 million-year-old fossil, [00:16.84]was found on Seymour Island, off the coast of Antarctica. [00:22.16]The fossil is said to be about the size of a football – without the air inside. [00:29.92]It measures around 29 centimeters by 20 centimeters. [00:36.24]It is only a little smaller than the eggs of the large elephant birds [00:42.36]of Madagascar, which died off some time ago, scientists said. [00:48.80]While birds and many dinosaurs produced hard-shelled eggs, [00:54.16]the Antarctic egg has a soft shell. [00:57.60]"This new egg is the very first fossil egg from Antarctica, [01:03.00]and the largest soft-shelled egg ever discovered," said Lucas Legendre. [01:09.96]He is a paleontologist at the University of Texas at Austin. [01:16.08]He was the lead writer of the report published in the journal Nature. [01:22.44]Legendre compared the egg to a football that had lost its air. [01:29.16]"One side is flattened, suggesting that is where it came in contact with the sea floor. [01:37.24]Its eggshell is very thin, and poorly mineralized, [01:41.72]like in the eggs of lizards and snakes," he said. [01:46.16]At the time the egg was made, the only creatures in Antarctica [01:52.04]that were large enough to lay it were seagoing reptiles. [01:57.12]The discovery of the fossil makes researchers question the idea [02:02.80]that these animals only gave birth to live young. [02:07.40]The bones of the mother were not found, [02:10.84]so scientists were not able to say which animal laid it. [02:16.04]Among the likely creatures to have laid it [02:19.68]are species of mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. [02:24.68]The former could reach lengths of 15 meters, [02:29.52]while the latter could reach lengths of 10 meters, Legendre said. [02:35.64]Mosasaurs and plesiosaurs died off at the same time as the dinosaurs. [02:43.04]They disappeared after an asteroid, a small, rocky object, [02:48.16]reportedly struck Earth some 66 million years ago. [02:52.96]Scientists from the University of Chile [02:57.16]and Chile's Museum of Natural History found the unusual fossil in 2011. [03:05.52]Unsure about what it was, they called it "The Thing," [03:10.72]after the name of a science-fiction film. [03:14.40]"When we arrived at camp, we asked the geologists that accompanied us [03:20.60]if they had ever seen anything like it," [03:23.76]said University of Chile paleontology researcher Rodrigo Otero. [03:30.48]"Their expression of bewilderment said it all." [03:34.72]I'm John Russell. 更多听力请访问pzw8555.cn