Death flight

David Unwin Death flightThis tiny hatchling individual of Darwinopterus, a species of pterosaur (flying reptile) that frequented the banks of lakes and rivers around 160 million years ago (Late Jurassic) in what is now north-east China, likely drowned on its maiden flight. Pterosaurs could fly from the moment they hatched, but this difficult and dangerous activity led to a high mortality rate. The size of a sparrow, this fossil skeleton, preserved in finely laminated mudstone, forms part of the collections of the Henan Geological Museum, in Zhengzhou, China.