Prehistoric Eggs Help Reveal Early Life Of Flying Reptiles

Truth Troubles


Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone is a Research Assistant in Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. The opinions expressed here are solely hers.

A hoard of fossilized pterosaur eggs discovered in China is helping scientists gain a rare insight into the extinct flying reptiles.

Newly released research into over 200 eggs and 16 embryos from the pterosaur Hamipterus, including the first computed tomography (CT) scans, eclipses what was previously known about these cousins of the dinosaurs.
In particular, they provide new evidence for the debate about whether pterosaurs could fly as soon as they hatched.
Relatively few pterosaur fossils are preserved because of the animal’s fragile, thin-walled bones. Even more rare are fossils of young hatchlings, eggs and embryos, making it difficult to understand how different species grew.

Illustration of a Pterosaur and Pterosaur eggs by Zhao Chuang.

The first pterosaur embryo was found in China…

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