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Baby pterosaurs may have taken to the skies straight after hatching

Pterosaurs were flying winged reptiles that dominated the skies from 228 million to 66 million years ago, and a new analysis in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences indicates that the animals may have been ready to fly straight out of the egg. Unlike baby birds or bats that require a significant amount of development before they’re ready for flight, pterosaur embryos appear to be proportioned like adults, complete with fully formed wing bones. Although the egg fossils used in the analysis don’t provide much information about muscle development of the juveniles, the researchers argue that the only reason to invest the resources into developing such mature wings is so the animals could take to the skies right away, New Scientist reports.

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