Pteranodon was a huge flying reptile with a wingspan of over 20 feet. It belonged to an extinct group of reptiles called pterosaurs. Pterosaurs were not dinosaurs, but were closely related. Pteranodon lived during the Cretaceous Period, about 86 million years ago in what is now western North America. Although Pteranodon and other pterosaurs resembled modern bats, they were not related.
- History: The first Pteranodon specimen was found in 1870 in Kansas by Othniel Marsh, the famous paleontologist from Yale University. Marsh recognized that it was a pterosaur, but it had no head, so he wasn’t sure whether it was the same as the pterosaurs from Europe, or something new. A few years later, in 1876, some skulls were found, showing that Pteranodon was indeed completely different from any known pterosaur.
- Scientific Name: Pteranodon, meaning roughly ‘toothless wing’.
- Characteristics: Although the first pterosaurs had teeth, Pteranodon had a long, slender, toothless beak. The skull has a long crest that projects upward and backward, as our Pteranodon toy shows. The function of the crest is uncertain, but we do know that the size and shape of the crest is different in males and females, so it was most likely used as a display structure during courtship. Pteranodon had a tiny tail, much too short to have steered the animal during flight, so the crest may also have been useful as a rudder.
- Size: This Pteranodon toy model is 3 inches long with a 7.25 wingspan.
- The Pteranodon is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection
- All of our products are Non-toxic and BPA free