pter·o·dac·tyl / ˌterəˈdaktəl/ • n. a pterosaur (Pterodactylus and other genera, family Pterodactylidae) of the late Jurassic period, with a long slender head and neck and a very short tail. ∎ (in general use) any pterosaur.
pterodactyl Any of several species of small pterosaur. Now extinct, pterosaurs were flying reptiles distributed worldwide in Jurassic and Cretaceous times. Pterodactyls were almost tail-less, with large toothed beaks and flimsy membranous wings. Fossil remains show a lack of muscular development and the absence of a breast keel. It is therefore believed that pterodactyls were gliders, incapable of sustained flapping flight.
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