Brief Communication | Published:

Palaeobiology

Argentinian unhatched pterosaur fossil

New pterosaur-egg features add to our understanding of these extinct flying reptiles.

Abstract

Our knowledge of the eggs and embryos of pterosaurs, the Mesozoic flying reptiles, is sparse. Until now, the recent discovery of an ornithocheirid embryo from 121-million-year-old rocks in China1 constituted the only reliable evidence of an unhatched pterosaur. Here we describe an embryonic fossil of a different pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of Loma del Pterodaustro (the Lagarcito Formation, which is about 100 million years old) in central Argentina. This new fossil provides insight into the eggshell morphology, early growth and nesting environments of pterosaurs.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Wang, X. & Zhou, Z. Nature 429, 621 (2004).

  2. 2

    Bennett, S. C. Paleobiology 19, 92–106 (1993).

  3. 3

    Wellnhofer, P. Abh. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. NF 141, 1–133 (1970).

  4. 4

    Starck, J. M. in Current Ornithology Vol. 10 (ed. Power, D. M.) 275–366 (Plenum, New York, 1993).

  5. 5

    Sereno, P. Mem. Soc. Vert. Paleontol. 2, 1–53 (1991).

  6. 6

    Kellner, A. W. A. in Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs (eds Buffetaut, E. & Mazin, J. M.) 105–138 (Geol. Soc. Sp. Publ. 217, 2003).

  7. 7

    Unwin, D. M. in Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs (eds Buffetaut, E. & Mazin, J. M.) 139–190 (Geol. Soc. Sp. Publ. 217, 2003).

  8. 8

    Chiappe, L. M., Kellner, A., Rivarola, D., Davila, S. & Fox, M. Contr. Sci. 483, 1–19 (2000).

  9. 9

    Codorniú, L. & Chiappe, L. M. Can. J. Earth Sci. 41, 9–18 (2004).

  10. 10

    Board, G. B. & Sparks, N. H. C. in Egg Incubation: Its Effects on Embryonic Development in Birds and Reptiles (eds Deeming, C. D. & Ferguson, M. W. J.) 71–86 (Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 1995).

  11. 11

    Mikhailov, K. E. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Cnty Sci. Ser. 36, 361–373 (1992).

  12. 12

    Schleich, H. & Kästle, W. Reptile Egg-Shells SEM Atlas (Fisher, Stuttgart, 1988).

  13. 13

    de Ricqlés, A. et al. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 129, 349–385 (2000).

Download references

Author information

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Correspondence to Luis M. Chiappe.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Figure (DOC 757 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Figure 1: Shell around a pterosaurian embryo from the Early Cretaceous period in Argentina (specimen MHIN-UNSL-GEO-V 246).

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.