When paleontologist Alexander Kellner first saw the 35-square-foot block of sandstone filled with pterosaur fossils, he couldn’t believe his eyes. “I was just speechless,” he says. That was in 2015, at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing. Now, two years later, that 120-million-year-old block of fossilized sand has yielded 215 pterosaur eggs, 16 of which still have embryos inside. The unprecedented discovery can help us understand how pterosaurs laid their eggs, how those eggs developed, and even how pterosaur parents cared for their young.
The batch of eggs, described in a study published today in Science, confirms what scientists had suspected: pterosaurs laid soft-shell eggs like today’s lizards, rather than hard-shell eggs like birds. It also shows that flocks of pterosaurs may have nested together, laying their eggs relatively close to each other and returning to nest in the same spots over time. Based on the development of certain embryos, the researchers also think that newborn pterosaurs couldn’t fly, which suggests that parents had to take care of them. But several experts disagree about the stage the embryos were in, which has implications about how pterosaurs behaved.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.