55 Fun Facts About Pterodactyls

Facts About Pterodactyls: Pterodactylus is a genus of pterosaurs whose members are often called pterodactyls. It was the first to be identified as a flying reptile and named. Its fossil remains can mostly be found in the Solnhofen Limestone in Bavaria (Germany), which was formed in the Late Jurassic (Early Tithonian), between 150.8 and 148.5 million years ago, although skeletal fragments have been found elsewhere of Europe and in Africa.

It was a carnivore and probably fed on fish and other small animals. As with all pterosaurs, the wings of Pterodactylus consisted of a skin and muscle membrane that stretched from its elongated fourth toe to its hind limbs. Collagen fibers served as support on the inside and keratin ridges on the outside.

Its name derives from the Greek pteron ("wing") and daktylos ("finger") and refers to the way in which one big toe supported the entire wing.

55 Fun Facts About Pterodactyls

Fun Facts About Pterodactyls

  • A young Pterodactyl is called a flapling.
  • The Pterodactyl walked on four legs, not two.
  • The name Pterodactylus means: “Winged Finger”.
  • Pterodactyl is an extinct member of the Pterodactylus genus.
  • The common name Pterodactyl is pronounced: “TERR-uh-DAK-tuhl”.
  • Estimates put the average length of a Pterodactyl at 3.5 feet.
  • Pterodactyl fossil remains have been found in Africa and Europe.
  • Estimates put the weight of the Pterodactyl between 2 and 10 pounds.
  • Estimate put the average wing span of a Pterodactyl around 3.4 feet.
  • The Pterodactyl had an elongated beak with about 90 razor sharp teeth.
  • The scientific name Pterodactylus is pronounced: “TERR-uh-DAK-tuhl-US”.
  • The Pterodactyl was the first pterosaur ever to be indentified and described.
  • The Pterodactyl was part of a group of dinosaurs known as Pterosaur (wing lizard).
  • They lived at the end of the Jurassic Period between 148 and 151 million years ago.
  • Many paleontologist think the Pterodactyl was diurnal, meaning it was active during the day.
  • Pterosaurs' closest living relatives are two vastly different animals: Crocodiles and birds. 
  • Pterodactyls are not actually dinosaurs, they are a pterosaurs and considered a flying reptile.

Interesting Facts About Pterodactyls

  • It is believed that the pterodactyl walked on all four, as opposed to the way birds walk, on only two.
  • The Pterodactyl was a carnivore that ate meat. Their diet most likely consisted of fish and other small animals.
  • Paleontologists do not refer to this species as 'pterodactyls'. The word has become the common term for pterosaurs.
  • A Pterodactyl is really the nickname for a Pterodactylus, but the phrase Pterodactyl is commonly used to describe it.
  • Pterosaurs lived from 220 million years ago to 66 million years ago, when they were wiped out with the non-avian dinosaurs.
  • The true species name is not pterodactyl, but instead is pterodactylus antiquus, however most refer to it simply as a pterodactyl.
  • The pterodactyl flew by flapping its wings, referred to as 'flapping flight'. Earlier winged reptiles were only capable of gliding.
  • The Pterodactyl was discovered in 1784 in Bavaria and given the scientific name Pterodactylus antiquus by Cosimo Alessandro Collini.
  • The wing span of the pterodactyl has been estimated to have been 3 feet 5 inches. The adult skull contained approximately 90 conical teeth.
  • The pterodactyl had a crest on the skull made up of soft tissue, which extended from the largest opening of the skull to the back of the skull.
  • The size of the adult wingspan of the pterodactyl is not known for certain as no complete specimen of an adult has been found yet. The estimate of 3 feet 5 inches is only an estimate.
  • Birds today did not evolve from pterodactyls. They actually evolved from small, meat-eating land dinosaurs that were covered in feathers and lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Mind-Blowing Facts About Pterodactyls for Kids

  • The pterodactyl is one of the first pterosaur fossils ever identified. The first was described in 1784 by Cosimo Alessandro Collini, an Italian scientist. The fossil was found in Bavaria in Solnhofen limestone.
  • The word 'pterodactyl' was invented by the French zoologist Georges Cuvier, in the 1800s, who determined that it was a flying reptile and not a sea creature. He is often referred to as the 'father of paleontology'.
  • Some scientists believe that pterodactyls climbed trees and took off, or that they launched off the sides of cliffs. Others believe that they were capable of springing into the air to gain height and take off with their wings.
  • Cosimo did not determine that the pterodactyl was a flying creature. He speculated that it may have even been a sea creature, after ruling out birds or bats. The belief that the pterodactyl may have been a sea creature continued into the 1800s.
  • Listen up, producers of Jurassic World: If you're going to put pterosaurs in your movie, make sure they've got a little fuzz. New research has revealed that pterosaurs were actually fluffy, which means they were probably warm-blooded, like bats and birds.
  • Because the pterodactyl can vary greatly based on their maturity or age, some scientists mistook them for different species, however it has been determined that this is simply due to growth stages and the fact that specimens have been found for all ages of the pterodactyl.
  • Pterosaurs weren’t dinosaurs. In fact, that’s the main myth that Norell wants to dispel. Pterosaurs were cousins of the dinosaurs that evolved from a land-dwelling reptile. They were the first animals after insects to evolve powered flight, and the largest creatures ever to fly.
  • Scientists once imagined many ways that pterosaurs might move on land—including upside down in trees, like sloths, or hopping and running on two feet, like birds—but recently discovered fossil tracks suggest that pterosaurs walked on all fours, folding up their wings like umbrellas.
  • The animals varied widely in size, according to Norell: “They range from Nemicolopterus cryptus, which is about the size of a finch, to Quetzalcoatlus northropi,” above, which had a wingspan of more than 33 feet. So far, more than 150 species of pterosaurs have been discovered, and scientists believe there were probably thousands more.
  • Pterosaur bones were hollow, with walls as thin as playing cards. Like bird's bones, they were strengthened by internal struts. By comparing pterosaur and bird brain casts, scientists have determined that the creatures' brains were similar in certain ways—both had well developed regions for vision and balance, which are important in flying. 
  • Their eggs were soft-shelled, and only a few have been found so far. (Dinosaurs, by comparison, laid hard-shelled eggs.) By the time a pterosaur hatched, its wings were fully formed; it probably could have taken off shortly after it hatched. Though scientists once imagined pterosaurs caring for their young in nests, they now believe the young hatchlings were on their own from the start.
  • The first pterosaur discovered and described was Pterodactylus Antiquus (above). It was acquired by a German ruler in the late 1700s and kept in a Wunderkammer, or Curiosity Cabinet; the specimen was eventually named by French naturalist Georges Cuvier, who correctly identified it as a flying reptile, in 1809. (Ptero-dactyle means “wing finger.”) And the discoveries keep coming today: Norell and some colleagues have discovered parts of a new pterosaur that they think is around 15 percent bigger than Quetzalcoatlus.  
  • Scientists aren’t really sure what pterosaurs used their crests for, but they do have some theories: species recognition, sexual selection, cooling, and steering. But Michael Habib, Assistant Professor of Cell and Neurobiology at the University of Southern California and an expert on pterosaur flight who participated in the exhibition, thinks that last one is unlikely, based on tests scientists have performed on model pterosaur heads in wind tunnels. “In order to get [the crests] into a position where they really help at all—for the few crests that could produce useful force in that regard—you had to put the head and neck into really awkward positions that were potentially damaging to the animal,” Habib says. “That also matches what we see in terms of the anatomy if that is true. If they were used for some other functions—say, a display function—you'd expect the crest would sometimes be very large, and they would be highly variable in the shape. Sure enough, they’re all over the place. They don't seem to particularly correlate with wing shape and structure at all. And that speaks strongly against any kind of aerodynamic function.” That doesn’t mean the crests wouldn’t have an aerodynamic effect; in fact, they’d increase drag. “They would be costly,” Habib says. “But a lot of display structure is costly.”

Friends, hope you liked this post on Fun Facts About Pterodactyls. If you liked this post, then you must share it with your friends and Subscribe to us to get updates from our blog. Friends, If you liked our site FactsCrush.Com, then you should Bookmark it as well.

Post a Comment