Physical appearance and biologyEdit
Behaviour and traitsEdit
Pteranodon was a large pterosaur that spent most of its life in the air. Its large wings and lightweight frame meant that it could use thermals to soar effortlessly through the air for hours. On the contrary, Pteranodon was awkward and cumbersome on land. It probably only landed to mate, to nest and to rest.
Despite its 9 metre wingspan, it weighed only around 20 kg. Pteranodon could fly long distances, as some of its remains have been found hundreds of kilometres from the coast. It hunted by dipping its lower jaw into water and skimming it until they detected prey. Pteranodon would then snap its jaws together and would then fly away. Any Pteranodon that could fly because of illness or injury would either starve to death or would be eaten by predators.
Male Pteranodon had a large head crest. This crest was probably used for display or intimidation. Scientists originally thought that the crest was used as a rudder to steer whilst flying. However, recent research indicates that the crest was more of a hindrance than a help when flying.
Pteranodon laid eggs and made nests like modern seabirds. They would then need to provide food for their offspring.
In a desperate attempt to locate the whereabouts of the Argentinosaurus herd, Nigel Marven went as far as the open ocean to find them. There, he encountered a large flock of Pteranodon roosting and feeding on the high cliffs near the shore. He slowly approached an old male Pteranodon who was busy digesting a fish. 8 feet away from the pterosaur, he watched other members of the flock flew over the surface of the water and catch fish. As the old male took to the wing, Nigel threw a fish down the cliff where another Pteranodon caught it. He did the same with another Pteranodon on the beach.
The next day, in another attempt to find the Argentinosaurus herd, he took to the sky with an ultralight, aiming to have a bird's eye view of the landscape, giving him a better chance in locating the sauropods. Whilst doing so, he flew with the Pteranodon flock. He then broke away from the flock to fly with an Ornithocheirus - the largest animal ever to fly.
Whilst Nigel was searching for mosasaurs, he encountered a flock of Pteranodon flying alongside The Ancient Mariner. In the distance, a Xiphactinus narrowly missed catching a Pteranodon, proving that in the Cretaceous, not only do the pterosaurs catch fish, the fish sometimes catch them.
Later, it was shown that Nigel had kept one as a pet. Nigel was seen feeding it before checking out the boat's cameras and getting a glimpse of a pod of Elasmosaurus. Later, when Nigel's boat was capsized by a family of Tylosaurus, the Pteranodon was seen screeching.
Behind the scenesEdit
List of appearancesEdit
- Chased by Dinosaurs
- 102. Land of Giants
- Sea Monsters
- 103. To Hell and Back?
- Sea Monsters book
- The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life
- Pteranodon is now known as a diving creature, swimming to catch fish like a gannet.
- Pteranodon never existed for such a long period of time. It only lived an estimated two million years during the Coniacian and Santonian of the late Cretaceous.