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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flying reptile egg soon to be a major movie ...

Adult pteranodon fossils from Royal Ontario Museum.
Courtesy  Kenn Chaplin from Toronto
Jonathan Amos reports at BBC News (20 January 2011) on a "Fossil female pterosaur found with preserved egg". Wonderful news, and note this:
The egg indicates this ancient flying reptile was a female, and that realisation has allowed researchers to sex these creatures for the first time.


Writing in Science magazine, the palaeontologists make some broad statements about differences in pterosaurs, including the observation that only males sported a head-crest.
"Broad" statements indeed, about the head-crest. They couldn't really be sure unless they could sex a flock, and there's a risk of being led off course.
The state of the egg's shell suggests it was well developed and that Mrs T must have been very close to laying it when she died.
CreationSafaris has an interesting comment on the risks of storytelling:
Actually, it was Daddy Darwinopterus taking his turn sitting on the egg. Back then, you see, pterosaurs shared parenting responsibilities. How do we know? We don’t, and neither do the reporters ...
The sad thing is, this find is so good, why mess with empty speculations?

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