Museum Frankfurt

Pterodactylus antiquus
Suborder: Pterodactyloidae
Family: Pterodactylidae
Diet: insects, carrion
Wingspan: approx. 0,5 metres
Age: 144-150 million years (Upper Jurassic)
Fossil site: Solnhofen (Bavaria)
at Senckenberg: three originals Pt. antiquus , Pt. spectabilis and Pt. scolopaciceps

The famous Parisian anatomist Georges Cuvier identified this species of flying dinosaur remains the first time in a fossil. He gave it the name "Pterodactyl" (= winged finger). Pterodactyl is the most common species in the Solnhofen limestone. Typical of Pterodactyl is the short tail and relatively long head. Its narrow mouth was set with short pointed teeth. The relatively long neck was bent, similar to that of the pelican. Like all Pterosaurs, Pterodactyl had hollow bones to save weight while flying.
Pterodactyl antiquus was about as big as a pigeon. Other species of the genus Pterodactyl had
wing spans similar to today's eagle (2.5 meters). The animals were probably distributed along the coasts.


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