A new discovery of pterosaur eggs and fossils, found in China, gives us a complete look at the early flying reptiles. Researchers found at least 215 eggs and about 16 containing traces of embryos.
‘We want to call this region Pterosaur Eden. They swooped and whirled across the sky, hunting for fish. Adult Pterosaurs of the Hamipterus Tianshanensis species had more than 11-foot wingspans and rows of teeth.’
But newly-hatched baby couldn’t yet fly, probably didn’t have teeth, and most likely needed care from their parents, according to newly published research appearing in the journal Science.
The newspaper announced the discovery of a fantastic treasure trove of fossils and at least 215 Hamipterus Tianshanensis Pterosaur eggs in China. These findings give researchers give real insights into the early development and reproductive life of the flying reptiles approximately 120 million years ago.
‘We want to call this region ‘Pterosaur Eden.’ paleontologist Shunxing Jiang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences told Reuters.
Finding the huge collection together is an indication that these early reptiles, which were the first flying vertebrates on Earth, lived or at least nested in colonies, perhaps like sea turtles do now.
A storm likely washed the eggs and other pterosaurs into a nearby lake, where they were fossilized.
The eggs themselves had soft, parchment-like shells.
‘Because of the number of fossils that were found here, this species of pterosaur is now the one we have the most complete picture of, but questions remain.’ according to Deeming. It is still unknown if the eggs were buried in sand or vegetation or why they appeared dehydrated.
‘Hopefully additional finds of equally spectacular fossils will help us answer such questions for pterosaurs and allow us to paint an increasingly complete picture of reproduction in these extinct species.’ he wrote.