Pteranodon Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Pteranodon
  • Species Type: Pteranodon longiceps
  • Genus: Pteranodon
  • Period: Late Cretaceous
  • Diet: Meat (carnivorous)
  • Wingspan: Over 23 feet
  • Total Specimens: About 1,200
  • First Discovered: 1870

20 Pteranodon Facts for Kids

  1. The first Pteranodon was discovered in 1870 by American Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh.
  2. The first Pteranodon was discovered in Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk Formation (North America).
  3. The Pteranodon got its scientific name Pteranodon longiceps in 1876, from Othniel Charles Marsh.
  4. The name Pteranodon means: “Toothless Wing”.
  5. The Pteranodon is not a dinosaur, it’s a pterosaur, which is a group containing the largest known flying reptiles.
  6. There are two recognized species of Pteranodons, the P. longiceps and P. sternbergi.
  7. The Pteranodon lived during the Late Cretaceous Period.
  8. The Pteranodon lived between 88 and 84.5 million years ago.
  9. The Pteranodon lived in what is now known as modern day North America.
  10. The most recognizable feature of the Pteranodon was their large cranial crests.
  11. The Pteranodon is believed to have been a piscivore, with a diet consisting mostly of fish.
  12. Pteranodons had no teeth, but rather a sharp beak like some modern day birds.
  13. Male Pteranodons were considerably larger than female Pteranodons.
  14. Pteranodons were able to fly and some paleontologists think they would have flown like the modern-day albatross.
  15. Pteranodons could initiate flight from standing position and didn’t need to glide off large objects.
  16. The average wingspan of a male Pteranodon is 18 feet.
  17. The average wingspan of a female Pteranodon is 12 feet.
  18. There is no accurate estimate of the weight of the Pteranodon.
  19. Unreliable weight estimates of the Pteranodon range from as little as 44 pounds to as high as 205 pounds.
  20. There have been over 1,000 specimens recovered since the first discovery in 1870.

Additional Resources on Pteranodon