Temporal range: Upper Jurassic
Pterodactylus was a small pterosaur or flying reptile. It lived in the later Jurassic period, at the same time as many dinosaurs. Pterodactylus is typical of the short-tailed pterosaurs, a sub-order which continued to the end of the Cretaceous. The first specimens were found at Solnhofen in Bavaria, Germany. Also found in these strata was the famous Archaeopteryx.
These carbonate strata formed in warm lagoons. Pterodactylus may have lived on small islands in the lagoon, or on the coast. More likely, it lived further inland and was blown here in a storm. The high salinity would support little life, so the pterosaurs would have fed in some other area.