Discovery News has the sweetest report on tiny pterosaurs flitting about with songbirds:
“I think that a group of small pterosaurs was feeding together near a pond or near a lake,” lead author Yuong-Nam Lee told Discovery News, adding “there are lots of feeding beak marks.”
For the latest study, accepted for publication in the journal Cretaceous Research, Lee and his colleagues focused on the pterosaur tracks. The scientists identified a total of 64 imprints made by five to six individuals that “show a clear quadrupedal gait pattern” with feet bearing curved “hook-like sharp” claws.
“The high density of the tracks suggest gregarious behavior, but the random orientation of the trackways does not show that they were moving in the same direction as a herd,” Lee said.
He and his team instead think the pterosaurs and birds randomly gathered to feed. The eating marks consist of “small round depressions on the slab,” possibly where the animals repeatedly pecked away for food.
Of course, now that folks think they weren’t so leathery all over, the differences between warblers and pterosaurs might be less obvious. But still, it’s quite an image.