Pterodaustro in flight. By Mark Witton.
Competing views exist on the behaviour and lifestyle of pterosaurs during the earliest phases of life. A ‘flap-early’ model proposes that hatchlings were capable of independent life and flapping flight, a ‘fly-late’ model posits that juveniles were not flight capable until 50% of adult size, and a ‘glide-early’ model requires that young juveniles were flight-capable but only able to glide. We test these models by quantifying the flight abilities of very young juvenile pterosaurs via analysis…
Pterosaurs nest on a volcano. By Mark Witton.
This is the Central Atlantic magmatic province, during the Triassic-Jurassic extinction, where heaps of volcanic gases were released by rifting Pangaea. These pterosaurs exploit the warm ground for nesting, oblivious to the looming extinction.
Palaeotherium magnum (updated). By Mark Witton.
The nocturnal Palaeotherium magnum, the pony-sized equoid once featured with the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs before the model went missing. Among some of the first fossil vertebrates to be studied scientifically, they helped us establish concepts of extinction and life before humans. #extinct #fossil #palaeontology
Conflicto antarcticus. By Mark Witton.
#Paleoart of one of my favourite Cenozoic dinosaurs: the near-goose Conflicto antarcticus. These birds look modern, but are ancient, living immediately after the extinction of non-bird #dinosaurs.