pterodactyl


ptero·dac·tyl

noun \ˌter-ə-ˈdak-təl\

: a large flying animal that lived long ago when dinosaurs were alive

Full Definition of PTERODACTYL

:  any of various pterosaurs (suborder Pterodactyloidea) of the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous having a rudimentary tail and a beak with reduced dentition; broadly :  pterosaur

Origin of PTERODACTYL

New Latin Pterodactylus, genus of reptiles, from Greek pteron wing + daktylos finger — more at feather
First Known Use: 1830

Rhymes with PTERODACTYL

pterodactyl

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of the pterosaur suborder Pterodactyloidea, known from Late Jurassic and Cretaceous fossils (159–65 million years ago) in eastern Africa and Europe. Members of the typical genus, Pterodactylus, ranged from the size of a sparrow to that of an albatross. Pterodactyls had slender, delicate teeth that were angled forward (possibly for use as straining devices), long metacarpal bones, and a short tail. They were probably able gliders but not efficient as active fliers, and they apparently lacked feathers. Unlike the archaeopteryx, the pterodactyl was not an ancestor of the birds.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: Pterodactyli
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Pteroclididae
All Words Near: pterodactyl

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pterodactyl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).