Pterosaur embryo

Pterosaur eggs have featured on the Musings before, most recently with the quite amazing Darwinopterus egg, but also before with a cast of one of only three known pterosaur embryos. Here though is a picture of an original specimen on display at the IVPP. Admittedly there’s not too much to see here in terms of details, but certainly it should be pretty obvious that there are a lot more long thing bones here than you’d find in anything that’s not a pterosaur or bat and in the Early Cretaceous that rather narrows down the candidates to one…. This specimen was referred at the time of description to Haopterus as it shows a couple of ornithocheirid features, and while the subsequent discovery of the various boreopterids since then might mean that this should be expanded a little, it won’t be a huge stretch and the major inferences that you can make from an identifiable embryo about ontogeny will still hold up.

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