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Pterosaur Eggs

December 12, 2017

A new fossil find in China sheds light on how pterosaurs reproduced.

Transcript

Pterosaur egg and bone fossils. (Wang et al. Science 2017)

Pterosaur egg and bone fossils. (Wang et al. Science 2017)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Ancient pterosaur nests. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Scientists have discovered a stunning fossil repository in China containing the eggs of over 200 pterosaurs – the giant flying reptiles that ruled the skies during the Mesozoic Era. This according to a report in the journal Science. University of Lincoln embryologist Charles Deeming notes that the discovery, along with other recent finds, sheds light on the reproductive habits of these long-extinct creatures.

CHARLES DEEMING (University of Lincoln):

For many years nobody knew anything about reproduction in pterosaurs. There was a lot of speculation but no fossil evidence.

HIRSHON:

Deeming says adult pterosaurs may have periodically come together to lay eggs and bury them underground, much like today’s sea turtles. But evidence found at the site suggests that they may also have stuck around to defend the nests and provide some parental care to hatchlings. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard

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