Pteranodon by Josef Moravec. Original oil painting
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PTERANODON This extinct flying reptile was a pterosaur, descendant of the pterodactyl. The genus Pteranodon includes some species of large pterosaurs from the Cretaceous period in North America. Its name Pteranodon means "wing without tooth". Pteranodon was a carnivore, but it had no teeth. It ate fish, crabs, mollusks, insects and it was also scavenger. It may have hunted like modern pelican, coughing fish at the surface of the ocean and swallowing them whole. Pteranodon was capable of flying long distances, it probably depended on air currents. It was almost a soaring animal. It may also have been capable of bipedal terrestrial movement. This huge winged creature had large, light-weight wings; it probably had a semi-upright stance. Its wingspan was huge, longer than any known bird. The wings were covered by a leathery membrane that stretched between its body, the top of its legs and its elongated fourth fingers. From the other fingers protruded claws. Some Pteranodons had a large, long crest at the back of the head that may have been used as a rudder when flying or may have had a sexual characteristic. Pteranodon had no teeth, it had long toothless jaws. It had good eyesight. Many fossils have been found in the USA (Kansas) and in England. The first skull of Pteranodon was found in 1876 in Kansas.
TIME - Late Cretaceous - 76-73 MYA
RANGE - Europe & North America
SIZE - 23 foot wingspan (7 meters)
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