Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: PTERANODON


PTERANODON (tayr-AN-o-don) "Winged and Toothless" (Greek pteron wing + anodontos = toothless, because it could fly and was toothless)

Not a DINOSAUR, but a tailless Late Cretaceous PTEROSAUR. It weighed 33 pounds (15 kg). It had a turkey-size body, and a head that was 6 feet (1.8 m) long from the tip of its long, toothless beak to the end of a long, bony crest on the back of the head. In some, this crest doubled the length of the head. The purpose of the crest is unknown. Some specimens of Pteranodon had no crest, so perhaps it was a sex characteristic. It may have been used as a brake for landing, or it could have been a rudder, since the creature had no tail. Or it may simply have acted as a balance for the very long beak. Although Pteranodon had a 27 foot (8.2 m) wingspread, it could have flown only in a light or moderate wind. It may have been a glider rather than a true flyer. This flying fish eater may have fished on the wing. It was probably ENDOTHERMIC (warm blooded) and may have had fur. Its FOSSILS have been found in Kansas