from the past-their-sell-by-date dept.
The largest clutch of [pterosaur] eggs ever discovered suggests that the extinct flying reptiles may have gathered together in vast colonies to lay their eggs. More than 200 eggs were discovered at one location in China.
Little is known about how the pterosaurs reproduced. The find suggests that hatchlings were probably incapable of flight when they emerged from the egg, and needed some parental care.
Fossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos are extremely rare. Until now only a handful of eggs have been found, in Argentina and north-western China. The large collection of eggs suggests pterosaurs may have nested in colonies, where they defended their offspring from predator attack.
Egg accumulation with 3D embryos provides insight into the life history of a pterosaur (DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2329) (DX)