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 An azhdarchid pterosaur has nine vertebrae in its neck, an animal with a four-foot-long neck would have vertebrae of about 5.5 inches long each. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Unique Bone Structure Helped Long-Necked Pterosaurs Fly," 16 Apr. 2021 Scientists think this kind of pterosaur, with its large jaw and slim neck, preyed on fish, small mammals, and even baby dinosaurs. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, "This pterosaur supported its giant neck with bones built like bicycle wheels," 14 Apr. 2021 Nicknamed the 'Monkeydactyl' by a friend of one of the report's authors, the species is a pterosaur and scientifically known as Kunpengopterus antipollicatus. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, "'Monkeydactyl': Scientists discover Jurassic era flying reptile with oldest opposed thumbs," 13 Apr. 2021 The Quetzalcoatlus is a pterosaur, which basically means a flying reptile. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio, Texas was home to biggest flying 'dinosaur' ever: Quetzalcoatlus: named after Aztec god," 2 Mar. 2021 But now, in considering lagerpetids as pterosaur relatives, what paleontologists expect a protopterosaur to look like has shifted: the new targets are nimble reptiles with keen sight and the ability to move their heads quickly. Riley Black, Scientific American, "Pterosaur Origins Flap into Focus," 9 Dec. 2020 Fossil pterosaur feces, known as coprolites, also help. Matt Simon, Wired, "What Did Pterosaurs Eat? Look Very Closely at Their Teeth," 28 Oct. 2020 Even prior to the announcement of the fourth new species of pterosaur, researchers were understandably excited. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Four New Species of Prehistoric Flying Reptiles Unearthed in Morocco," 3 Apr. 2020 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

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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Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pterosaur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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