Quetzalcoatlus (Kwet-sal-co-AT-lus) was a pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous of North America, and the largest known flying animal to have ever lived. It is a member of the family Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks.Its name comes from the Aztec feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Estimates put the average length of a Pterodactyl at 3.5 feet. Dinosaur vs Pterosaur. The Pterodactyl was part of a group of dinosaurs known as Pterosaur (wing lizard). It was a member of the Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Dinosaurs were terrestrial, but not every species lived on the ground. The "type fossil" of Pterodactylus was discovered in Germany in the late 18th century, well before scientists had a firm understanding of pterosaurs, dinosaurs, or, for that matter, the theory of evolution (which was formulated decades later). “A small pterosaur still had a wingspan of one and a half to two meters [4.9 to 6.6 feet],” Martin-Silverstone says, which was about the size of the larger birds at the time. Pterosaurs Quetzalcoatlus / k ɛ t s əl k oʊ ˈ æ t l ə s / is a pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Maastrichtian stage) and one of the biggest known flying animals of all time. Nat Geo blogger Brian Switek explains the difference and provides a handy chart showing where the groups split in a 2010 story on Smithsonian.com. To begin with, the word pterosaur describes an entire taxonomic order, one that includes dozens of different genera and hundreds of different species spanning millions of years–some massive and others quite small.Pterosaurs existed from the late Triassic period to the end of the Cretaceous period (~230 million—65 million years ago). They flourished all through the age of dinosaurs, a period of more than 150 million years. Flying Dinosaurs: Despite being extinct at the present-day time, dinosaurs are still considered as one of the most astonishing creatures that ever existed on Earth.. With those sharp teeth and variable sizes (ranged from the smallest to the most humongous bodies), dinosaurs were sure to have ruled over the land and even deep waters during the prehistoric times. Check out Witton’s blog for tons more on pterosaurs. PARIS - By the time they were wiped out alongside their dinosaur cousins, most winged pterosaurs had evolved from awkwardly airborne to lords of the primeval skies, according to new research published Wednesday. Pterodactylus Was the First Pterosaur Ever Discovered . Dinosaurs and pterosaurs are different groups but share a common ancestor in Avemetatarsalia. Over time, the earliest pterosaurs—relatively small flying reptiles with sturdy bodies and long tails—evolved into a broad variety of species. Whether pterosaurs are closer to dinosaurs or protorosaurs remains the source of argument, but at the moment the evidence for an affinity with dinosaurs seems better supported. They lived at the end of the Jurassic Period between 148 and 151 million years ago. Spinosaurus was semi-aquatic , for instance, while Microraptor could glide between trees. Estimates put the weight of the Pterodactyl between 2 and 10 pounds. 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