Jackpot of fossilized pterosaur eggs unearthed in China | Science News

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Jackpot of fossilized pterosaur eggs unearthed in China

The find far outstrips previous discoveries of the flying reptile’s offspring

2:00pm, November 30, 2017
Hamipterus tianshanensis

PTEROSAUR TROVE  A bone bed in northwestern China with a rare collection of fossils of Hamipterus tianshanensis offers a glimpse into the early development of this pterosaur (illustrated) that lived during the Cretaceous Period.

Hundreds of eggs belonging to a species of flying reptile that lived alongside dinosaurs are giving scientists a peek into the earliest development of the animals.

The find includes at least 16 partial embryos, several still preserved in 3-D. Those embryos suggest that the animals were able to walk, but not fly, soon after hatching, researchers report in the Dec. 1 Science.

Led by vertebrate paleontologist Xiaolin Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, the scientists uncovered at least 215 eggs in a block of sandstone about 3 meters square. All of the eggs belonged to one species of pterosaur, Hamipterus tianshanensis, which lived in the early Cretaceous Period about 120 million years ago in what is now northwestern China.

Previously, researchers have found only a handful of eggs belonging to the winged reptiles, including

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