noun \ˈter-ə-ˌsr\

Definition of PTEROSAUR

:  any of an order (Pterosauria) of extinct flying reptiles existing from the Late Triassic throughout the Jurassic and most of the Cretaceous and having a featherless wing membrane extending from the side of the body along the arm to the end of the greatly elongated fourth digit


New Latin Pterosauria, from Greek pteron wing + sauros lizard
First Known Use: 1862


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of several extinct flying reptiles (order Pterosauria) that flourished during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (206–65 million years ago). Pterosaurs hung by their long, slender hind limbs when at rest. They soared and glided on fragile, membranous wings that were attached to the long fourth finger of each forelimb and extended along the flank. The first three fingers were slender, clawed, clutching structures. Pterosaurs had a long, slender beak and a large brain. Ramphorhynchus had strong, sharply pointed teeth, a long tail, and a wingspread of about 3 ft (1 m). It probably obtained food by diving for fish. See also pterodactyl.


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