Beibeilong sinensis is a theropod from the Caenagnathidae family, a group of very large oviraptors also known as megaoviraptors. It would have been a feathered bipedal dinosaur, with a toothless beak, clawed hands, and a tail for balance.
Beibeilong would have lived in the Late Cretaceous rainforests of what is now Southeast China. Oviraptors have been known to nest as many modern birds. Beibeilong was the first example of a megaoviraptor shown to nest the same way as its smaller relatives.
The holotype consists of the partial skeleton of an embryo (referred to as "Baby Louie"), which appears to have been removed from its egg before full development, and six to eight eggs. The story of discovery and naming Beibeilong is long, and shows the problems caused by the fossil trade.
The specimen was discovered by a farmer named Zhang Fengchen, who excavated it in 1992 or 1993. In mid-1993 the specimen was illegally sold to an American company called The Stone Company, run by Florence and Charlie Magovern from Boulder, Colorado. Charlie was inspecting the eggs, and thought he saw some bones in a chisel gouge. He cleaned away some rock, and confirmed the presence of bones. Three of the paper's authors traveled to The Stone Company to study the specimen. This was when National Geographic photographer Louis Psihoyos came to document the unearthed skeleton. The skeleton was from then on referred to as "Baby Louie" in honour of Louis. in 2001, the full skeleton was unearthed, and the entire specimen was acquired by the Indianapolis Children's Museum. The specimen was finally returned to the Henan Geological Museum in China in 2013. In 2015, five of the paper's authors traveled to the excavation site with Zhang Fengchen, and found fossilized eggs identical to those found in the specimen.
Beibeilong comes from Pinyin. "Beibei" translates to "baby", as Beibeilong was fossilized as a baby. "Long" translates to "dragon", as is the common replacement for "saurus" in Chinese dinosaurs. Sinensis comes from Latin, referring to the fact that the dinosaur is from China.