Extinct Dinosaurs

Monday, February 21, 2011


Pterodactyls lived in Antarctica, Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas during the Jurassic (205 million to 138 million years ago) and were extinct by the end of the Cretaceous (65 million years ago). Their wings consisted of skin stretched between their bodies and long fourth "fingers" of their "hands". Three additional much smaller fingers of each hand had claws. They laid large eggs. They were not dinasours.

Pterodactylus antiquus

Pterodactylus antiquus was the name given to the first group of Pterodactyls found. Pterodactylus means wing finger. Pterodactylus antiquus was roughly the size of a crow.


There were 29 pterodactyl species ranging from the size of a small bird up to the size of a Quetzalcoatlus which was 20 feet long and weighed 500 lbs. The largest Quetzalcoatlus wingspan measured over 36 feet. They probably soared over long distances. Another Pterodactyl species, the Pterodaustros, had one thousand teeth.


Pteranodons lived in Europe and North America during the Cretaceous around 75 million years ago. They stood 6 feet tall and had wingspans of over 20 feet, sometimes greater than 30 feet. The Pteranodons were descendants of the earlier pterodactyls. They ate fish, crabs, mollusks, insects and also scavenged, but had no teeth. They were likely able to soar for long distances with may have even walked well.

Pteranodon Skeleton

Early Pteranodon drawing absent the long crest

Rhamphorhynchus Pterodactyles

Rhamphorhynchus, one of the first vertebrates to fly, was an early pterosaur in Africa and Europe in the late Jurassic around 150 million years ago. They ranged in size, the largest having a wingspan of almost 6 feet. It had a large head, a long neck, long jaws with outward pointing teeth, a throat pouch, small legs and a long tail with a diamond shaped flap. It likely hunted or scavenged for fish. Their fossils are often found near ancient seabeds.

Dimorphodon Pterodactyles

Another Pterodactyle, the Dimorphodon, lived in Europe during the early Jurassic. It had a 4 feet wingspan, deep, wide jaws and a diamond-shaped flap at the end of its long tail, probably used to maneuver and often imitated in science fiction illustrations. The few Dimorphodon fossils which have been found show large voids in its skull which lightened its huge head.

Source from : http://www.50birds.com

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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