Pteranodons, The Flying Dinosaurs, are Alive

Pteranodons are the greatest flying reptiles that ruled the airs of late Cretaceous and are thought to be extinct around 65 million years ago. They are still alive in our current world!

Here are a few facts about these flying reptiles:

  • These reptilian ancestors can fly, thanks to their huge leathery wings which are extension of their forelegs.
  • Their wingspan (from the left wing’s tip to the right wing’s tip) even touched about 8 meters in a few species.
  • The hind legs of these graceful fliers were not so strong making these animals appear to be very awkward on land.
  • They had bones filled with air to make sure that they got enough lift.
  • Even with their strong and huge wingspan, they cannot lift into the sky right from where they stand.
  • They normally nested and roosted in high cliffs and initiate their flight by jumping off the cliff. They were more like gliders than current birds which are more like helicopters.
  • Since the leathery wings are more than enough to take turns in mid air, most species got rid of their tails or had very short stumpy tails in a view to reduce flying baggage.

In Picture: Artist’s rendering of a Pteranodon (Image Source)

  • On cold mornings, these magnificent reptiles had to wait for warm currents to rise towards the sky so that they can use the thermals to rise themselves into the sky, even from the cliffs.
  • They eat fish and tiny water creatures such as the crustaceans.
  • The pteranodons used pair of long beak like structures to catch fish and anything that swam on the surface of the water.
  • The mouth had a long and narrow upper beak, which is a single piece and supported by the lower beak that had two bones coming together to be fused at the front end. This allowed the reptiles to grab large fishes.
  • Moreover, the bottom jaws had an extendible skin that would hold as many fish as possible to ensure that the parenting pteranodons had to make least amount of trips back and forth to the nest!

If they are so huge, how can anyone miss them while they are flying in today’s world! Even in smaller dimensions, one would not miss on these reptiles.

  • These pteranodons did shrink in size and retained their bills while losing their crests.
  • However, they did not lose their feeding behaviors or their dominating bullying attitudes.
  • They still possess single piece upper bill and two-piece lower bill with the pouch hanging from below it.

In Picture: The skull of a living pteranodon and its egg.

  • They still lay eggs and develop chicks by feeding them with the fish and creatures of water.
  • They transformed their leathery wings to feathery wings, which means that their tail tufts also gained feathers.
  • Even their names have changed, but they have retained the same starting and ending letters “P” and “N”.

So, the living “Pteranodon” is currently known to us as a “Pelican”.

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28 Responses to “Pteranodons, The Flying Dinosaurs, are Alive”
  1. ceegirl Says...

    On March 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Great share.


  2. N. Sun Says...

    On March 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Haha, very cool!


  3. Raj the Tora Says...

    On March 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks friends.


  4. Val Mills Says...

    On March 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Kind of figures! Nice work


  5. Raj the Tora Says...

    On March 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thank you Val :)


  6. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On March 6, 2011 at 3:34 am

    I have not even heard of this flying dinosaurs. THnx for the info, Raj.


  7. Jimmy Shilaho Says...

    On March 6, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Amazing. I really thought these were long extinct.


  8. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On March 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Lol. You had me guessing right to the end.


  9. Raj the Tora Says...

    On March 7, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Thanks a lot friends.


  10. Tom Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    The pteranodon in the pic appears like a pelican Raj. Good work


  11. Rita Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    well said Raj. I really thought of another Jurassic Park!


  12. Sam Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    wonderful


  13. Ben Clocker Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    good one. kept the suspense till the end.


  14. Trike Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    good post


  15. Albert Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    well said


  16. Ian Mitchell Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    intriguing


  17. Malcolm Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    nice one


  18. Freddy Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    fantastic information.


  19. Nina Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    good post


  20. Sangeetha Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    pelicans are perfect replacements for pterasaurs


  21. Will Will Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    wow, such nice comparative study. Keep it up


  22. Jim Hopper Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    fantastic information. Need to watch out the skies.


  23. Nick Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    nice one, tks


  24. Math Maniac Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    great analogy


  25. Dino Diana Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    curious case indeed.


  26. Lolita Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    good one. Thanks.


  27. Great Godwin Says...

    On March 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    superb article. A scientific suspense indeed.


  28. Raj the Tora Says...

    On June 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks a lot friends


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