Pteranodon is a major part of the pterosaur family; an extinct family of animals mainly known for their flying abilities. As disappointing as this may come to people who consider these creatures a dinosaur, they aren’t. They happened to have just existed in the same Era the dinosaur did. A few scientists indeed love to identify them as “flying dinosaurs” but they aren’t. They only just shared habitats with major dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous Era.
In 1876, the first pteranodon remains were located in North America. The first thing scientists who worked on the fossils noticed was that the animal had structures mainly for flight. The wing, body like a kite, and virtually the main parts of its body were designed for speed during flight. Watching a pteranodon during flight is like seeing a cheetah running on the sky; such a fast-flying animal.
The Crest On The Pteranodon
One of the distinct parts of the pteranodon is the crest on its back. This obvious crest is located at the back of the animal’s cranial bone and it’s known to have been a mode of recognition for the species. As scientists discovered more fossils, it was clear that the male crest was a lot larger than that of the female. Most times, the crest also functions as a balance between the jaws, and also for steering while in the sky.
The Limbs Of The Pteranodon
Just like you predicted, the flying components (wings) of the animal are more significant can the limbs. The limbs could never have been compared with the size of the wing. As we said earlier, the animal needs all it can for flight. So it’s only normal that the wing size supersedes the size of the limbs.
If you think the limbs are small then you need to read on the size of the torso. Although the hind limbs look bigger, the bones have a huge hole in them. Maybe you never stopped wondering what kept them on the sky at such a speed. It was the shape of their bones, and how well designed they were to withstand such an atmospheric pressure.
The Largest Present-Day Birds
What made the pteranodon different from other pterosaurs was the huge size of their breast bone. This, in turn, made them the strongest flying pterosaur that ever lived. Studying the size of the pteranodon’s wings during flight, it was clear it soared more than it uses its wings to aid flying. Because it spent most of the day above the sea, it needed to depend on its sight to source for food. The eyes of the pteranodon were quite huge and this helped in spotting the food even while it is thousands of feet above the ground.
It was pretty cool that these animals flew that high and still got food on ground level when they needed it. Nature was quite fair on them to have provided them with such body anatomy that covered all their needs. They stayed far above ground level, so the had no predators and got prey to feed on when needed.