If you saw initial few movies of the Jurassic Park series (before “The Lost World”) I am sure you may have wondered, why all the dinos they showed were terrestrial ones. Weren’t there any that flew? Like our present day birdies 🐦.
The answer is, indeed there were these flying ones that existed during that time, but they were actually not dinosaurs at all, they were Pterosaurs (think of them as distant cousins of dinos). Pterosaurs lived from the late Triassic Period to the end of the Cretaceous Period, when they went extinct along with dinosaurs. Among these flying reptiles of the dino-age, Pterodactyl is possibly the most well-known.
Pterodactyl ate a variety of fish 🐟 that included Coelacanth, but it also loved to devour small animals like lizards 🦎, dino eggs 🥚 and yes even the smaller dinosaurs. Although Pterodactyl was no bigger than our present day hawks or eagles, don’t think that flying reptiles of that time didn’t live up to the reputation of the era, where everything was giant. Some Pterosaurs, like the Cryodrakon, were bigger than a fully grown Giraffe 🦒! That’s a whopping 18 feet! Bet it would have been an indispensable member of the basketball 🏀 team of that age 🙂
The first Pterodactyl fossil was discovered in 1815. Fossil remains of Pterodactylus have primarily been found in the Solnhofen limestone of Bavaria and Germany, which dates back to the late Jurassic period, about 150.8 to 148.5 million years ago. Other remains are from elsewhere in Europe, as well as in Africa.