A team of explorers in Chechnya have accidentally discovered what they say is the largest batch of fossilized dinosaur eggs in a mountainous area south of the republic.
The cache, the first of its kind found in Chechnya, contains 40 or so eggs and is believed to date back some 60 million years. The explorers also believe they were laid by plant eating dinosaurs.
The team of geographers stumbled up on the eggs as they were studying two uncharted waterfalls.
"There are boulders on the slopes of the mountain, and among them we noticed smooth globes," expedition member Said Magomed Dzhabrailov, who heads Chechen State University's Landscape Explorations Laboratory, said. "We got closer and saw that they didn't look like stones. We concluded that they were dinosaur eggs because the shells, the whites and the yolks were clearly visible. Their diameter ranges between 63 centimetres and one meter," which would be around three feet.
While most of the Chechen scientists are "90 percent" certain of their find, one is not convinced.
Ramzan Vagapov, one of the expedition members, says he does not believe the eggs were laid by dinosaurs and will deliver a sample to a group of Russian palaeontologists for further testing including carrying out a series of radiocarbon dating tests.