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Darwinopterus eggs and reproduction



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

In case this article has not been mentioned yet:

Junchang Lü, David M. Unwin, D. Charles Deeming, Xingsheng Jin, Yongqing
Liu and Qiang Ji (2011) 
An Egg-Adult Association, Gender, and Reproduction in Pterosaurs
Science 331 (6015):. 321-324 (21 January 2011)
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197323 
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6015/321.abstract


A sexually mature individual of Darwinopterus preserved together with an
egg from the Jurassic of China provides direct evidence of gender in
pterosaurs and insights into the reproductive biology of these extinct
fliers. This new find and several other examples of Darwinopterus
demonstrate that males of this pterosaur had a relatively small pelvis and
a large cranial crest, whereas females had a relatively large pelvis and no
crest. The ratio of egg mass to adult mass is relatively low, as in extant
reptiles, and is comparable to values for squamates. A parchment-like
eggshell points to burial and significant uptake of water after
oviposition. This evidence for low parental investment contradicts the
widespread assumption that reproduction in pterosaurs was like that of
birds and shows that it was essentially like that of reptiles. 

News coverage at:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20011-did-pterosaurs-fly-out-of-their-
eggs.html
http://news.discovery.com/dinosaurs/pterodactyl-egg-mother-110120.html


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