Pterosaurs – The Flying Dinosaurs
11 Interesting Facts about Pterosaurs
- The Pterosaurs were flying reptiles, in fact they were the very first vertebrates to fly.
- They roamed the earth around 65 million years ago and existed along with the dinosaurs. It is believed that they became extinct at the same time as their cousins, the dinosaurs, and died out with them.
- The Pterosaurs belonged to the Triassic Period and existed till the end of the Cretaceous Period.
- Pterosaurs had hollow bones which has made their fossilization difficult and rare.
- Pterosaurs are neither dinosaurs nor birds in the true sense. They are considered close relatives to the dinosaurs.
- They could not only just glide or sail through air but were reptiles that flew adeptly soaring from tree to tree, taking off from the ground, soaring high with their own power on upward currents of air.
- They had complex wings similar to those of modern day bats but no feathers. They had fur and a brain that functioned like that of birds. They had weak legs, long and slender beaks. Some were as small as a sparrow.
- They had short arms and a long fourth finger to support their wings leaving their other fingers free to be used as a hand.
- Their wings being huge and difficult to fold, palaeontologists feel that they scuttled about on their hand and hind legs.
- They lived in large flocks and laid few eggs at a time in nests that were buried.
- Even though they seemed similar to birds they were quite different in structure. They did not have powerful breast muscles that were needed to flap their wings and they were not able to fold their wings like our modern birds.
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