Are Pterodactyls Dinosaurs? Learn More About These Prehistoric Predators

These pterrific facts will help you answer the popular question of whether pterodactyls are dinosaurs!

Pterodactyls, the common name for pterosaurs, are an extinct group of winged reptiles. There was a genus of pterosaur called Pterodactylus – which is where the word “pterodactyl” comes from – but not all pterosaurs belong to this genus.   

Are pterosaurs birds, dinosaurs, or mammals? The answer? D: none of the above! Because they flew and their front limbs stretch out to the sides, they are not dinosaurs. Instead, they’re a distant dinosaur cousin.

 

Pterosaurs lived from the late Triassic Period to the end of the Cretaceous Period, when they went extinct along with dinosaurs. Pterosaurs were carnivores, feeding mostly on fish and small animals. Many had hooked claws and sharp teeth that they used to grab their prey.

Pterosaurs evolved into dozens of individual species. Some were as large as F-16 fighter jets, while others were as small as paper airplanes.

They were also the first animals after insects to evolve powered flight. This means they didn’t just leap into the air or glide but flapped their wings to generate lift.

However, not all pterosaurs could fly. Pterodactylus flew using wings formed by a tough, thin membrane stretching along their bodies to their elongated fourth finger.  

Pterodactyls are carnivores

 

Like birds, pterosaurs had lightweight, hollow bones. Pterosaur skeletons survive as fossils only when their bodies came to rest in a very protected environment. Most pterosaur remains come from species that lived near the ocean or sea.  

Many Pterodactylus fossils are preserved in Bavaria, Germany. During the Jurassic period, the region was a swampy wetland at the edge of an ancient sea. Organisms that washed into the wetland became buried in the mud. This mud slowly hardened into limestone and the bones fossilized.  

Pterodactyls dinosaur fossil

While Pterodactyls are not classified as dinosaurs, they still have a lot in common with other prehistoric predators, and we still have much to learn about them. The rarity of fossils leaves major gaps in our knowledge about pterosaurs. How did they evolve flight? Why did they vanish? What exactly did they look like? Maybe one day you’ll help find answers to these questions! 

Expand on the activity! 

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Dinosaur Wedding Ideas: ‘Til Extinction Do Us Part

Fandom Dinosaur Wedding Ideas For Couples That Love Paleontology, Jurassic Park, or Just Dig Dinos!

Jurassic Park is one of the nation’s biggest hits! It came back to us with Jurassic World and it continues to be a favorite among our couples whose creative dinosaur wedding ideas keep getting better and better! With DinoDigs being one of the best options for your reception, we have seen our couples take this dinosaur wedding theme and run (in heels) with it!

Whether you like the classics or the newer versions, Jurassic Park is a theme that works with today’s trends of Palm Fronds and tropical florals. It transports your guests into a world all your own and can add a bit of personality to your elegant wedding.

 

Dinosaur Wedding at Orlando Science Center
Ashley Jane Photography

DinoDigs, our largest indoor reception space, makes the perfect backdrop to welcome your guests into a Jurassic World unlike anything they’ve seen before. Our larger than life T-Rex will greet you as you walk in, and you’ll dance the night away surrounded by prehistoric fossils

Dinosaur cake at dinosaur wedding
Sterling Photography
Dinosaur cocktails at dinosaur wedding
Mary Fosky Photography

Here are a few dinosaur weddings ideas that will transport you  back in time for your wedding:

  • Say your vows in front of our own Sun, projected on our suspended 3-D globe in Our Planet!
  • Palm Fronds are all the rage anyway! Incorporate them in your aisle and on your reception tables.
  • Dancing Dinos! Nothing says let’s get this party started like someone dancing away in an inflatable Dino costume.
  • Consider walking down the aisle to an elegant version of the Jurassic Park theme done by violins
  • Incorporate your theme into unique centerpieces that guests are sure to love
  • Decorate your reception with tropical florals and large greenery pieces. Topping it all off with a great T-Rex sign!

Adding this meteor-defying theme always brings a fun spin and personality to your special day!

dinosaur wedding- sun
Ashley Jane Photography
dinosaur wedding- dinosaur picture
Andrew Griesemer Photography
dinosaur wedding- dinosaur dancing
Live Happy Studio
dinosaur wedding- dinosaur jeep
Mary Fosky Photography
dinosaur wedding- dinosaur table setting
Shaina DeCiryan Photography
dinosaur wedding- dig pit couple
PB&J Studios
dinosaur wedding- dinosaur table
Shaina DeCiryan Photography

Contact Us

To book your special day, request pricing information, or for any other questions, please contact Helen Tillem, Director of Meetings and Events at 407.514.2290 or fill out the form below.


Ready to schedule your site visit? Pick a date and time below and we'll add it to our calendars! Our Events team will reach out to confirm your visit.