Chinese archaeologists unearth eggs of ancient flying reptile

Updated 2017-12-18 15:00:17 CGTN

Scientists in China recently made a stunning discovery – almost perfectly preserved pterosaur eggs. The winged creatures lived 120 million years ago alongside the dinosaurs. Very little is known about them.

The National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro is now hosting an exhibit on the groundbreaking paleontology discovery.

Pterosaurs, the airborne cousins of dinosaurs, disappeared 66 million years ago, and only a handful of their eggs had been found until now.

The discovery stunned scientists from all over the world, because it offers a chance to learn more about the little-known winged reptiles that ruled skies before birds.

A team of Chinese and Brazilian paleontologists, led by Wang Xiaolin and Alexander Kellner, made the discovery.

"We only had fewer than ten eggs, and now we have over two hundred to work with," according to Kellener of Rio de Janeiro Federal University. "Some even containing embryonic remains that gives us an opportunity to have, for the first time, a glimpse of the embryological development of a creature that lived some 120 million years ago."

The paleontologist is thrilled, and says that these animals, which could stand more than one meter tall with a wingspan of more than three meters, were in fact vulnerable.

"What we have learned is that as soon as they hatched they could walk, but they could not fly. That means that for some time parents had to care for them."

The fossils were found in a three meter sandstone block north of Hami, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Scientists say more field work is needed to shed light on the lives of the Earth's first flying vertebrates.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58October 23 2018 11:20:11

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16October 23 2018 11:20:11

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18October 23 2018 11:20:11

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords