Baby pterosaurs flew the nest straight after hatching, study claims
Baby pterosaurs flew the nest straight after hatching! Newly-hatched reptiles were strong enough for flight, new analysis reveals
- Experts have used computer modelling to assess flight skills of young pterosaurs
- The flying reptiles, which weren't dinosaurs, became extinct 66 million years ago
- Just-born pterosaurs were 'flightworthy from the moment of hatching', they say
Extinct flying reptiles called pterosaurs were likely able to fly out of the nest straight after hatching, a new study claims.
A team of researchers led by a University of Southampton expert performed computer modelling based on the fossils of several pterosaur species.
They conclude that pterosaur hatchlings were agile and 'flightworthy from the moment of hatching' – known in biology as precociality.
The hatchlings had wingspans of almost 10 inches (25cm) attached to bodies that 'could neatly fit in your hand'.
Amazingly, the humerus bone in the hatchlings' wings were stronger than those of many adult pterosaurs, indicating that they were well primed for flight.
Newly-born pterosaurs were also more nimble flyers compared with adults, but less adept at travelling long distances, the …
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