Scientists say an amazingly well-preserved fossil egg adds more evidence to the close links between dinosaurs and modern birds.

Darla Zelenitsky from the University of Calgary has just published a paper on the egg, originally discovered in China about 20 years ago.

She says the embryo of the therapod dinosaur is curled up inside the egg just like a chicken, with its back against the broad end of the egg.

Zelenitsky says that means the posture predates the appearance of birds and it's one more birdlike characteristic developed by dinosaurs.

Others include feathers and how eggs are shaped and built.

Even sitting on nests to hatch eggs was done first by dinosaurs.

Zelenitsky says that in 25 years of studying dinosaur eggs she's never seen one so preserved.

The first time she saw it, she says, she could have sworn it winked at her.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2021.