Pterosaur embryo

This is a less than perfect photo, but then it is of a poorly painted cast, at an angle, under a spotlight, behind glass and of something rather small and delicate. Even so, it does at least, I hope, show that this is a very small animal surrounded by some kind of round wall and with long of long thing bones lining up inside.

Yes this is one of the only three pterosaur embryos known worldwide. Sadly as often happens with such things we got some Nature papers and then, well not much since. Nearly a decade on there’s no detailed commentary on any of these specimens and that is a real shame. OK, so they are far from the greatest vertebrate embryos going being rather flat and crushed and perhaps the less said about the skulls the better, but still there must be more information in there and it’s been quite a few years now. Here’s hoping anyway.

4 Responses to “Pterosaur embryo”


  1. 1 Nick Gardner 28/12/2010 at 10:00 am

    Putting the original specimen through a medical CT (or preferably a MicroCT) scanner could be used to shed additional information while leaving the individual bones and such in situ. I don’t know how widespread this technology is in China however and how bureaucratically it is managed. In the US, it’s relatively easy to gain access to medical CT scanning just by making the right contacts. I’m not sure how this pans out globally though. :(

    Relevant to your post but wrong in its claim to be first:

    http://blog.everythingdinosaur.co.uk/blog/_archives/2010/12/27/4713175.html

    • 2 David Hone 28/12/2010 at 10:15 am

      We really have only a few scanners in China and they are thus expensive to use. As far as I’m aware there are also none with the with kind of resolution needed to look at something this detailed so that’s unlikely to be feasible, and thanks to their odd laws, getting specimens out of the country even for scientific study is almost impossibly complex and expensive for such a procedure, so we kinda have to wait till China has more and better CT scanners going. I don’t know what the deal is with the Pterodaustro one though.

      As for the link. Great. He thinks he;s found one, so he’s puts out a press release and is taking it to Tuscon. If he really cared, he’d put it in a museum, get someone like Dave Unwin involved asap and get it published. No matter what his intent and motivation, this *looks* like someone after a better price for his collection.


  1. 1 Pterosaur embryo « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 09/03/2011 at 12:55 am

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