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The Scientific Scrapbook

X-Ray Oldest Land Egg


Despite "candling" under X-ray equipment usually used to penetrate and reveal flaws in military armament, the world's oldest known vertebrate egg, discovered by a Harvard expedition, failed to reveal its origin yesterday at the Watertown arsenal.

Alfred S. Romerfi professor of Zoology, revealed that the 225,000,000 year-old fossilized egg, found in the badlands of Texas, had been placed under the X-ray in an effort to find traces of an embryo.

"We had hoped, although not expected, to find evidence of an embryo in order more definitely to identify the vertebrate which laid the egg. But the results proved essentially negative," he stated.

Internal Differences Show

"Some indications of internal differences are visible in the X-ray plates, but it is impossible to attribute them to any embroyological structures."

The egg, he said, represents the most primitive type to be laid on dry land, as distinguished from those deposited only in water. Determination of its origin would throw new light on the evolution of vertebrates from a lower form of life.

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