Pteranodons were flying reptiles (pterosaurs) that were about 6 feet (1.8 m) long, had a 25-33 foot (7.8-10 m) wingspread, and weighed about 35 pounds; its standing height was about 6 feet (1.8 m).This wing-span is longer than any known bird.It is the most well-known pterosaur.


It had hollow bones, was lightly built, had almost no tail, and small bodies; it may have had fur. They had large brains and good eyesight. Some pteranodons had long, light-weight, bony crests on their heads that may have acted as a rudder or stabilizer when flying, or may have been a sexual characteristic.They had no teeth. Pteranodon wings were covered by a leathery membrane. This thin but tough membrane stretched between its body, the top of its legs and its elongated fourth fingers, forming the structure of the wing. Claws protruded from the other fingers.Pteranodons lived during the late Cretaceous period about 85-75 million years ago.Although they had no teeth, Pteranodons were carnivores. They ate fish (which they caught at the surface of the oceans), mollusks, crabs, insects, and scavenged dead animals on land. They may have hunted like modern-day pelicans, scooping fish out of the water and swallowing them whole.Pteranodon could flap its wings and fly with power.It flew long distances using large, light-weight wings.Many Pteranodon fossils have been found in the USA (in Kansas) and in England. Pteranodon was named by Othneil C. Marsh in 1876. The University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas, USA has over 480 Pteranodon specimens. The first Pteranodon skull was found on May 2, 1876, in Smoky Hill River, Wallace County, Kansas, USA by S. W. Williston, a fossil collector working for Othniel Marsh.