Authorities here have allocated 50 million yuan (US$7 million) for the construction of a fossil museum this year, which will form part of a dinosaur theme park.
Heyuan, a city in the mountains of Guangdong, set a Guinness World Record in 2005 for the world's largest collection of dinosaur egg fossils - it had 10,080 at the time.
The 8,000-sq-m museum will house the collection of dinosaur egg fossils, which has since grown to 13,800, as well as bones and footprints that have been found in and around the city, curator Huang Dong said.
He said four boys accidentally discovered a batch of dinosaur egg fossils in late 1995 when they were playing at a construction site near their school.
One of them stumbled over what he initially thought was a stone, but noticed it looked like a picture of a dinosaur egg fossil he had seen in a book.
The boys told their teachers and parents, who later told Huang, a local dinosaur specialist.
In addition to the thousands of eggs that have been identified, experts have uncovered 11 skeleton fossils and 168 footprint fossils since 2006, Huang said.
"The city government of Heyuan aims to set up a museum and theme park to better preserve its dinosaur fossils," Huang Shaoli, an official with the municipal government, said.
"On one hand, the park will help improve scientific research into dinosaurs, which is still at an infant stage in China," he said.
"On the other, it will provide a significant boost to the local tourism sector."
(China Daily March 4, 2008)