Late Cretaceous, 86–84.5 Ma
|Mounted replica of an adult male P. longiceps skeleton, AMNH|
Pteranodon was a large pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous period. About 1200 partial skeletons have been found, more than any other pterosaur. It lived in the area of the Western Interior Seaway.
Appearance[change | change source]
With its wings open it was up to 6.25 meters across. Pteranodon might have lived much like an albatross, spending a lot of time over the ocean, looking for fish. It had no teeth in its long mouth, and it had a small pouch like a pelican at the back of its jaw. Pteranodon had a big crest at the back of its head. Pteranodon longiceps had a straight crest that went backwards, and Pteranodon sternbergi had a bigger, flatter crest that went upward.
Life style[change | change source]
Pteranodon lived mainly on offshore rookeries. Most Pteranodon fossils are found where, at the time, they were hundreds of kilometres from the coastline.
References[change | change source]
- Bennett S.C. 2000. Inferring stratigraphic position of fossil vertebrates from the Niobrara Chalk of western Kansas. Current Research in Earth Sciences: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin, 244 (Part 1): 26 pp.
- > Bennett S.C. 1994. The pterosaurs of the Niobrara chalk. The Earth Scientist 11 (1): 22–25.
- Bennett S.C. 1994. Taxonomy and systematics of the Late Cretaceous pterosaur Pteranodon (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloida). Occasional Papers of the Natural History Museum, University of Kansas 169: 1–70.
- Bennett S.C. 1992. Sexual dimorphism of Pteranodon and other pterosaurs, with comments on cranial crests. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 12 (4): 422–434.