Dinosaurs existed during the Mesozoic Era, which was around 65 to 230 million years ago. Their sizes varied from very small to very large. Their diet was diverse. Some ate plants, some meat and the others were scavengers. Dinosaurs became extinct by the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 65 million years ago. Dinosaur remains have been discovered on every continent, including Antarctica. The plant eaters among the dinosaurs include the long-necked sauropods and all ornithischian dinosaurs who possessed heavily built skulls designed for consuming large amount of plant material. Theropods were the meat-eating dinosaurs and possessed strong, lightly built skulls which had jaws lined with a single row of sharply pointed teeth with serrated edges.
Dinosaurs have been classified into two major groups on the basis of the structure of their pelvic bones. The Saurischians were “lizard-hipped” dinosaurs, which possessed hipbone arrangements similar to that of most modern reptiles whereas the Ornithischians were “bird-hipped” dinosaurs, which possessed pelvises resembling those of birds. Certain dinosaurs walked on two legs some walked on four and some could do both. All that’s remaining of the dinosaurs are their fossils and, probably the birds.
The list of flying dinosaurs includes Tropeognathus, Quetzalcoatlus, Pterodaustro, Pterodactylus, Pteranodon, Ornithodesmus, Ornithocheirus, Gnathosaurus, Dsungaripterus, Ctenochasma, Cearadactylus, Anhanguera and many more. Given below is information about some flying dinosaurs.
Anurognathus lived around 140 to 155 million years ago. Only one skeleton of it has been discovered and that is in Bavaria, Germany. It had only a 9cm long body. Its wingspan was 50cms. It was an insectivore and fed on insects like damselflies and lacewings. It had a short deep skull. Anurognathus’s head was full of needle-like teeth.
Batrachognathus lived in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. It lived in the late Jurassic period. Batrachognathus belonged to the genus rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. Its mouth was 48mm long. Its upper jaw had 24 peg teeth.
An Italian naturalist named Cosmo Alessandro Collini found the first Pterodactylus in 1784 in Bavaria, Germany. Pterodactylus existed in the late Jurassic period. Its fossils have been found in Europe and Africa. Pterodactylus had a wingspan ranging from 50cms to 2.4mts. It was a carnivore and ate fish. Internally, it had collagen fibers, and externally, keratinous ridges. Pterodactylus’s winged membrane was supported by its long fourth finger. Pterodactylus had a striated soft-tissue crest on the skull. Its remains have been discovered in Germany, England, France and Tanzania. It inhabited lakeshores.
Quetzalcoatlus is named after the Aztec feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl. It was a very large pterosaur. Quetzalcoatlus had the ability to cover large distances. It belongs to the family Azhdarchidae. It is known as the largest flying animal. Quetzalcoatlus possessed large eyes and a big brain. It weighed around 135kg. Quetzalcoatlus inhabited areas near freshwater ponds. Douglas A. Lawson, in 1971, found the first Quetzalcoatlus fossil in Texas, USA.
I hope this article has instilled interest in you for the flying dinosaurs. You can visit a Museum of Natural History and see them for yourself. Trust me, you would be as awestruck as I was when I first saw them.
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