Home:Zoo:Diapsids:Pterosauria:Pteranodontidae:Pteranodon

Photo Panel
Pteranodon Photos
Pteranodon Replica
Click Here to Use This Photo

Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Diapsids
Order: Pterosauria
Family: Pteranodontidae
Genus: Pteranodon
Species: longiceps

Height: 72 inches
Length: 72 inches
Weight: 25 - 37 lbs
Wing span: 288 inches

Sponsored Links

Pteranodon

Pteranodon longiceps


Pteranodon (pronounced Teh-RAN-uh-DON) means “Winged and Toothless”. This prehestoric animal is not considered a bird or a dinosaur, but as a flying reptile known as Pterosaurs. Pteranodon had the appearance of a giant pelican. It measured 6 feet tall, 6 feet long, and had a very large wingspan of 24 feet wide. A crest at the back of the skull may have helped balance the long jaws and beak.


Pteranodon was a carnivoreWhat does carnivore mean?, meat eater, even though it had no teeth. The Pteranodon fossils have been found in rocks formed in marine environments, indicating that the animal spent much time gliding over the ocean waters searching for fish. They probably hunted fish like the modern-day pelican, scooping fish out of the water and swallowing them whole. Although fish was the bulk of its diet, they also may have been scavengersWhat does scavengers mean? eating dead or alive mollusks, crabs, and insects.


The first Pteranodon skull was found on May 2, 1876, in Smoky Hill River, Wallace County, Kansas. Additional remains have also been found in Wyoming, Nebraska, and in England, and have been dated to the Late Cretaceous period 83-70 million years ago.


Protruding claws may have helped protect the Pteranodon from predatorsWhat does predators mean? but its main defense is the ability to fly. Scientists believe the Pteranodon spent most of its time gliding in the air to avoid being attacked by predators, only landing to mate, nest, or rest. Predators may have included but are not limited to carnivorousWhat does carnivorous mean? dinosaurs such as the Deinodon, the Troodon, Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex.


Little is known about the behaviors of the Pteranodon because they became extinct millions of years before the appearance of humans. The wings of the Pteranodon indicate that it could flap its wings like a bird but the wings were primarily used for gliding, similar to those of an eagle. Pteranodons flew well because they weighed very little for their large body size, and their bones were hallow. The bony crest on their head may have served two purposes. The crest probably provided stabilization and balance while the animals flew, and it distinguished sexual characteristics between males and females. The male crests were larger.


Little is known about breeding cycles and number offspring produced by the Pteranodon. It is believed however that the Pteranodon were nest builders and looked after their young. Because they were an intelligent reptile species, they may have exhibited parental displays of affection, incubated their nests, brought food to their young, and even taught their young how to fly. Little is known about breeding cycles and number offspring produced by the Pteranodon. It is believed however that the Pteranodon were nest builders and looked after their young. Because they were an intelligent reptile species, they may have exhibited parental displays of affection, incubated their nests, brought food to their young, and even taught their young how to fly.


The eyes of the Pteranodon were relatively large, indicating that the animals relied on good eyesight, which was needed to capture fast swimming fish. Pteranodons also had large brains, indicating greater intelligence than other reptile species.

Related Products

Dinosaur Toys (213)



Dinosaur Posters (2)



Dinosaur Books (4)



Dinosaur Decor & Kitchen (1)



Dinosaur Jewelry (21)



Dinosaur School Supplies (12)



Dinosaur Party Supplies (24)

© 2014 theBIGzoo
32214 Tamina Rd, Magnolia TX 77354