Science and Health

Scientists Find 120 Million-Year-Old Reptile Eggs In China

It's believed the eggs belong to the ancient pterosaur, which scientists say roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous period.

Scientists Find 120 Million-Year-Old Reptile Eggs In China
LiveScience / Xiaolin Wang

Scientists in China have found five well-preserved reptile eggs still intact more than 100 million years after they were laid.

It's believed they belong to the ancient pterosaur — a reptile which roamed the Earth more than 120 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. (Via YouTube / American Museum of Natural History)

Until now, LiveScience notes scientists had only found four pterosaur eggs — all of which had flattened during the fossilization process. Besides the eggs, scientists also found bones from about 40 adult pterosaurs in the same area.

A writer for The Guardian calls the discovery a "tremendous find" — the reason being that there isn't much concrete evidence of pterosaurs since they generally didn't fossilize well.

So, after 100 or so million years, why were these eggs still intact?

According to the International Business Times, scientists say the pterosaurs likely covered their eggs with sand to keep them from drying out.

And the Examiner adds the sediment left behind from a large flood in the area is what scientists say probably preserved the remains.

The results were published in the journal Current Biology Thursday, and scientists say the eggs and bones weren't the only things they found. The findings also showed the reptiles likely lived together in large groups.