pterosaur

noun
ptero·​saur | \ ˈter-ə-ˌsȯr How to pronounce pterosaur (audio) \

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

Examples of pterosaur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dinosaurs went on to reach lengths of more than 100 feet, and one pterosaur had a wingspan of more than 30 feet. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Giant Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs May Have Evolved From This Four-Inch-Tall Reptile," 9 July 2020 The minute fossil of this dino/pterosaur ancestor could reveal why these groups evolved to develop specific physical traits. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "The Dinosaur's Ancient Ancestor Was Tiny. Really Tiny.," 19 July 2020 Researchers initially pegged the fossil as a vertebra belonging to a pterosaur, a type of flying reptile, but closer examination revealed its surprising identity. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rare ‘Light-Footed’ Dinosaur Discovered in Australia for the First Time," 20 May 2020 The finding may also prove that tracks found at a different South Korean site may have been the same crocodylomorph and not a pterosaur as previously believed. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Prehistoric Crocodiles Might Have Walked on Two Legs," 21 June 2020 But this flight adaptation makes pterosaur skeletons less likely to fossilize intact, leaving them scarce in the fossil record. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Four New Species of Prehistoric Flying Reptiles Unearthed in Morocco," 3 Apr. 2020 Azhdarchid pterosaurs, however, are one of the most difficult ancient creatures to classify since the remains of their delicate bones are rare and fragmentary. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Massive ‘Ice Dragon’ Ruled the Skies Above Ancient Alberta," 11 Sep. 2019 Different reef-building creatures began to take hold, and lush vegetation covered the land, setting the stage for a group of reptiles called the archosaurs: the forerunners of birds, crocodilians, pterosaurs, and the nonavian dinosaurs. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "What are mass extinctions, and what causes them?," 30 Sep. 2019 The new pterosaur has been named Afrotapejara zouhrii to honour the Moroccan palaeontologist Professor Samir Zouhri, according to researchers. Fox News, "Remains of 100 million-year-old flying pterosaur with 6-inch beak unearthed by scientists," 5 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pterosaur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pterosaur

1863, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pterosaur

New Latin Pterosauria, from Greek pteron wing + sauros lizard

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Time Traveler for pterosaur

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The first known use of pterosaur was in 1863

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Statistics for pterosaur

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pterosaur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pterosaur. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on pterosaur

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pterosaur

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