We don't have a lot of information on the mysterious pterosaurs ancient reptile that lived millions of years ago. We know that these flying reptiles could grow to the length of a small aircraft, but what we didn't know is how they nest and how they lived.
We now have an idea after fossil eggs were found in the Xinjiang Province, north west China. These eggs belonged to an unknown species of the pterosaur, and they prove that some species live in large nested colonies, which is similar to modern birds.
These are the first eggs of the pterosaur that were found almost fully intact. Scientist found four of these eggs in the past, but they were flattened and poorly preserved. The new eggs will definitely give scientist a lot of ammunition to learn even more about the pterosaur and how they lived and ultimately died.
According to scientists, a total of 5 eggs were found, along with 40 bones of adult pterosaurs. They all died in this one spot, which is the solid proof that shows that these creatures lived in a colony. Due to these birds being predators, it was once thought that they lived alone, but that is not the case.
"The combination of many pterosaurs and eggs indicates the presence of a nesting site nearby and suggests that this species developed gregarious behavior," said lead researcher Dr. Xiaolin Wang, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
"Hamipterus likely made its nesting grounds on the shores of freshwater lakes or rivers and buried its eggs in sand along the shore, preventing them from being desiccated."
The eggs themselves were quite odd. Unlike eggs of most reptiles, the pterosaur eggs are not soft and leathery, nor are they hard like normal bird eggs. Instead, they have a thin pliable shell overlaying a thick membrane.
These mighty creatures were thought to have died in a large storm 120 million years ago, though we doubt this storm alone is the reason why they were extinct from the earth. Furthermore, the pterosaur are usually confused to be dinosaurs, but that is far from the truth. They are actually from a distinct reptilian group since their skin is covered in small feathers.