Period of life: 105 MYA
Habitat: Coastal area
Pterodaustro is a winged bob-tailed pterosaur lived during Early Cretaceous about 105 million years ago on the South America territory. The first fossils were recovered in the late 1960s. Its name is derived from Greek and means “wing from the south”. Despite of its small 1-metre body it had 2.5-metre wingspan.
Pterodaustro had a very elongated skull up to 30 centimetres long. Its beak curved strongly upwards. The lower jaw contained enormous number of sharp and tiny teeth (up to 1000). Teeth length was about 3 cm with a width of just 0.3 millimetres. It was normal teeth with enamel, dentin and a pulp. Being very hard it might be rather flexibly bent on 45 degrees. Pterodaustro fed on fish, plankton and shellfish. It probably strained food with its tooth comb like flamingo.
Juveniles grew relatively fast within the first two years. Then it reached sexual maturity, growing at a slower rate for five years until reached maximum size. Because of its long body and neck and short legs, Pterodaustro required low-angled take-offs for launching like nowadays geese and swans.
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