Friday, January 21, 2011

Pterosaur egg discovered

Female Darwinopterus with egg (Lu et al., 2011)
Scientists working in China have discovered a female Pterosaur fossil alongside its egg. 

The researchers believe the 3-foot long flying reptilian was caught in a storm which may have broken here wing and washed her into a lake where she died, with the pressure of the mud expelling her egg.

David Unwin (University of Leicester) whose analysis of the fossil was published in Science yesterday describes it as a "tragedy" for the pterosaur, but that the find could answer some important questions about differences in gender in the pterosaur.

The 160 million years old fossil was identified as a Darwinopterus, a type of pterosaur (flying reptile) which lived in the middle of the Jurassic.

The egg appears to have been soft, inficating it would have been buried and left after laying rather than tended to constantly like a bird's egg.

The bird lacks a bony headcrest and Unwin believes that this, along with an enlarged pelvis are defining characteristics of a female pterosaur.

Unlike dinosaurs, whose features are preserved in modern day birds, pterosaurs were an 'evolutionary dead end'.


Gabi (who lives for Jesus!) November 11, 2011 at 7:53 AM  

WOW! This really helped me with my school assignment! When some one asks me what I wrote about Pterosaurs I will say: The dead end of evolution and "Mrs T" (Scientists named her that on other webs about the find) This is truly amazing! Good Job in giving evolution a dead end! Jesus is KING of all! HE created the universe and the animals and us!!! (That includes Pterosaurs)

Eoin Lettice November 11, 2011 at 8:00 AM  

Hi Gabi,
Thanks for your comment. Just because pterosaurs were 'an evolutionary dead end' does not mean that evolution is dead. There are many branches on the evolutionary tree and just because one ends, does not mean that they all do. This find strengthens the already overwhelming amount of evidence for evolution.

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