Pterodactylus

related topics
{specie, animal, plant}
{language, word, form}
{work, book, publish}
{church, century, christian}
{war, force, army}

Gnathostomata

Pterodactylus (pronounced /ˌtɛrəˈdæktɨləs/ TERR-ə-DAK-til-əs) is a genus of pterosaur, the first to be named and identified as a flying reptile. Its fossil remains have been found primarily in the Solnhofen limestone of Bavaria, Germany, dated to the late Jurassic Period (early Tithonian), about 150.8-148.5 million years ago,[1] though more fragmentary remains have been identified from elsewhere in Europe and in Africa. It was a carnivore and probably preyed upon fish and other small animals. Like all pterosaurs, the wings of Pterodactylus were formed by a skin and muscle membrane stretching from its elongated fourth finger to its hind limbs. It was supported internally by collagen fibres and externally by keratinous ridges.

The name derives from the Greek words pteron (πτερόn, meaning 'wing') and daktylos (δάκτυλος, meaning 'finger') and refers to the way in which the wing is supported by one large finger.

Contents

Description

Pterodactylus is known from over 27 fossil specimens, and though most of those are juveniles, many preserve complete skeletons.[2] The discovery of several specimens with well-preserved soft tissue traces has allowed scientists to faithfully reconstruct the life appearance of Pterodactylus. Pterodactylus was a relatively small pterosaur, with an estimated adult wingspan of about 1.5 meters (5 ft) in P. antiquus.[2] Other "species" were once thought to be smaller. However, these smaller specimens have been shown to represent juveniles of Pterodactylus, as well as its contemporary relatives Ctenochasma, Germanodactylus and Gnathosaurus.[3]

Full article ▸

related documents
Burying beetle
Monocotyledon
Porpoise
Green Iguana
Mustelidae
Chupacabra
Gibbon
Euphorbia
Red Wolf
Fig wasp
Bud
Narwhal
Phoronid
American Goldfinch
Slime mold
Anaconda
Cuscuta
Ciconiiformes
Fennec Fox
Mycorrhiza
Elm
Millipede
Phylogenetics
Abalone
Metamorphosis
Kiwi
Spore
Graptolite
Genome
Pollarding