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Pterosaurs

Pteranodon

Pteranodon sternbergi had a petal-shaped crest.Pteranodon sternbergi had a petal-shaped crest. Pteranodon was a large pterosaur from the pterodactyl group that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. It had a furry body with very short tail. Its long, stiff wings were made of skin stretching from an exceptionally long fourth finger to back legs. It had short legs with webbed feet. On top of its large, elongated skull was a prominent, backward-pointing, bony crest. Its long, curved, toothless bill had a throat pouch underneath. The name Pteranodon means “wings and no teeth”.

 
 

Flight

Some Pteranodons gliding and soaringSome Pteranodons gliding and soaringPteranodon’s long wings were ideally suited for gliding on air currents above the oceans, just as an albatross flies today, keeping an eye out for fish in the surface waters below. It could travel for many kilometres without needing to flap its wings, a flight pattern known as “dynamic soaring”. Some scientists, however, suggest that Pteranodon, rather than just rely on gliding, did flap its wings and actively powered itself through the air.
 

Pteranodon is often mistakenly called “pterodactyl”. There is no individual animal by this name. It is the general term for all short-tailed pterosaurs.

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