215 pterosaur eggs unearthed in the largest collection ever found | Inhabitat



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Scientists recently discovered the largest group of fossilized eggs of pterosaurs. In a block of sandstone 10 feet long in northwest China, they found 215 eggs, and 16 have embryonic remnants. So far, discoveries of pterosaur eggs with an embryo inside and a well-preserved 3D structure included three in Argentina and five in China, so researchers around the world are delighted with the finding.

  China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, pterosaur, pterosaurs, pterosaur bones, pterosaur eggs, pterosaur fossils, pterosaur fossils, fossils, fossils, bones, bones, reptiles, reptiles, science

Pterosaurs may have existed on Earth until 225 million years ago, but disappeared with the dinosaurs around 65 million years ago. This new discovery of pterosaur eggs of the species Hamipterus tianshanensis reveals that reptiles – the first creatures that follow insects to evolve in propelled flight – could not really fly immediately after birth, which required parental attention. Paleontologist Alexander Kellner of the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro told AFP: "Given that these are extremely fragile fossils, we were very surprised to find so many in the same place, because of this discovery, we can talk about the behavior of these animals for the first time. "

Related: The ancient flying reptile was about the size of a small plane

 China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, pterosaur, pterosaurs, pterosaur bones, pterosaur eggs, fossils of pterosaurs, fossils of pterosaurs, fossils, fossils, bones, bones, reptiles, reptiles, science

It is estimated that the eggs are 120 million years old, of pterosaurs that, as adults, have been around four feet of height with a wingspan of 11 feet. The researchers unearthed partial bones of skull and wings, and even a complete lower jaw, filling some of the gaps in our knowledge about the life cycle of the pterosaurs. Baby pterosaurs would have had functional hind legs not too long after hatching, but weak chest muscles. Kellner said "they could walk but not fly … This is one of the biggest discoveries we've made."

Scientists also found some adult pterosaur bones in the vicinity, which led them to believe that adult pterosaurs could have returned to the same spot.

 China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, pterosaur, pterosaurs, pterosaur bones, pterosaur eggs, pterosaur fossil, pterosaur fossils, fossil, fossils, bones, bones, reptiles, reptiles, science [19659004] The journal Science published the work this month. 17 scientists from institutions in China and Brazil contributed; Xiaolin Wang paleontologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences led the study. He said there could be up to 300 eggs in the excavation site, it seems that there are some buried below the exposed ones.

Through Phys.org, EurekAlert!, And the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Images through Xinhua / Wang Xiaolin / Chinese Academy of Sciences and Alexander Kellner (National Museum / UFRJ) (1 , 2)

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