Pteranodon

Pteranodon: a giant Pterosaur of the Late Cretaceous.

Musée du Séminaire de Sherbrooke

© Musée du Séminaire de Sherbrooke. All Rights Reserved.


To escape predators, some insects developed the ability to fly. As animals emerged from the water, the need to evade predators increased. Since flying creatures were an inaccessible food source, some predators might have yearned to take to the air themselves. In fact, several groups of reptiles attempted to develop the ability to fly.
To escape predators, some insects developed the ability to fly. As animals emerged from the water, the need to evade predators increased. Since flying creatures were an inaccessible food source, some predators might have yearned to take to the air themselves. In fact, several groups of reptiles attempted to develop the ability to fly.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

The first great success was the pterosaur, a flying reptile that emerged in the Triassic period. Throughout the Cretaceous period, pterosaurs became increasingly diverse, adopted new systems and grew in size. The Pteranodon is among the best-known North American pterosaurs. Its skull was longer than its trunk and boasted a pointed crest that extended behind its head. Its jaws were deep and nearly toothless. The large vertebrae of its neck protruded. Pterosaurs were the largest flying creatures of all time and evolved independently of birds.
The first great success was the pterosaur, a flying reptile that emerged in the Triassic period. Throughout the Cretaceous period, pterosaurs became increasingly diverse, adopted new systems and grew in size. The Pteranodon is among the best-known North American pterosaurs. Its skull was longer than its trunk and boasted a pointed crest that extended behind its head. Its jaws were deep and nearly toothless. The large vertebrae of its neck protruded. Pterosaurs were the largest flying creatures of all time and evolved independently of birds.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Birds appeared over 150 million years ago. The half-reptile Archaeopterx is the first known bird. Yet it couldn’t fly any better than a chicken. Birds evolved and diversified in the Cretaceous period. Some resembled gulls or cormorants and were able to fly. Others became adapted for fishing and diving and resembled penguins or grebes. These birds evolved much more than their ancestors had. Some closely resembled the birds of today except for one important detail: they had teeth!
Birds appeared over 150 million years ago. The half-reptile Archaeopterx is the first known bird. Yet it couldn’t fly any better than a chicken. Birds evolved and diversified in the Cretaceous period. Some resembled gulls or cormorants and were able to fly. Others became adapted for fishing and diving and resembled penguins or grebes. These birds evolved much more than their ancestors had. Some closely resembled the birds of today except for one important detail: they had teeth!

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Red-Necked Grebe

The Red-necked grebe may resemble a diving bird of the Cretaceous period.

Musée du Séminaire de Sherbrooke

© Musée du Séminaire de Sherbrooke. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Develop enthusiasm and continuing interest in the study of science
  • Describe pterosaurs and birds of the Cretaceous and their ecology
  • Describe how birds evolved and their relationship to reptiles

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