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Pterosaurs often referred to as pterodactyls, were flying reptiles that exsisted from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (about 228 to 65 million years ago). A man named Georges Cuvier named the first flying vertebrate in 1801. Although often refurred to as dinosuars, pterodatyls are not dinosuars because of the lack of and upright stance. Pterodactyl fossils have been found in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

The name pterodactyl means "winged finger". Their wingspan is anywhere between a few inches to forty feet. Pterodactyls are beleived to have flown long distances on large wings. Their wings were covered in a thin, tough, leathery membrane. The membrane stretched between the body, upper leg, and long fourth finger. Pterodactyls were lightly built with hollow bones, a pointed beak, and small teeth. They had above average eyesight to help them catch prey.

Pterodactyl Animation
Pterodactyl Animation

There are many species of pterodactyls. Pterodactylus lived along lake shores, with a wingspan anywhere from 20-30 inches makes it the smallest of the species. It lived during the late Jurassic period.

Dsungaripterus's had about 10 feet, wide, leathery wings. It had an unusually bony crest running along its snout, and had long, narrow, curved jaws with a pointed tip. It lived during the early Cretaceous Period.

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Pteranodon was about 6 feet tall with a wingspan of about 25 feet. It lived around the late Cretaceous Period.

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Quetzalcoatlus had a wing span of about 40 feet making it the biggest species of pterodactyls. However, it only weighed about 110 pounds despite it's wingspan. It lived during the Cretaceous Period.

Are Pterodactyls still alive??

At face value, a report in The Illustrated London News of February 9, 1856 (p. 166) implies one was alive in the 1800s.
The Illustrated London News report said workers were digging a railway tunnel in France in the 1850s, between Nancy and St. Dizier. They allegedly disturbed a strange creature as they gunpowdered a huge block of stone for the tunnel at Culmont, in Haute Marne.
The report said that the creature had a long neck and sharp teeth, was livid black, looked like a bat, and its membranous skin was thick and oily. Witnesses reportedly said that when the creature reached the light it showed signs of life by shaking its wings, but it died soon after, uttering a hoarse cry. Its wingspan was 3.22 meters (about 10 feet 7 inches).

Naturalist recognized it as pterodactyl