What is a pterosaur?

A Pterosaur skeleton (David Peters, Wikimedia)

A Pterosaur skeleton (David Peters, Wikimedia)

While the dinosaurs ruled the land, the pterosaurs ruled the sky. Pterosaurs are flying reptiles that lived alongside dinosaurs during the Mesozoic period. They include the largest animals ever to fly, with some in the group being as large as a jet fighter and as tall as a giraffe.

Pterosaurs didn’t have feathers like birds but instead had a wing made of a membrane of thin skin. The wing was attached to the body and the arms and looks similar to a bat’s wing. But unlike a bats wing, a pterosaurs wing was supported by one very long finger that could be metres long (the finger is the same as our pinky finger).

Pterosaurs became extinct at the end of the Mesozoic period, 65 million years ago which freed the skies for bats and birds today.

Here is a video from the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series:

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