from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various pterosaurs of the group Pterodactyloidea of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, having a short tail or no tail, and including the pteranodon.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An extinct reptile of the genus Pterodactylus or order Pterosauria; a pterosaurian; an ornithosaurian; a flying-dragon. Also pterodactylian.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Paleon.) An extinct flying reptile; one of the Pterosauria. See Illustration in Appendix.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various small, mostly tailless, extinct flying reptiles of the order Pterosauria that existed during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun extinct flying reptile


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin Pterodactylus, genus name : Greek pteron, feather, wing; see –pter + Greek daktulos, finger.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek πτερόν (pteron, "wing") + δάκτυλος (dactulos, "finger")



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  • "Pterodactyls or pterodactyloids (meaning "winged finger") were flying, prehistoric reptiles. They were a subgroup of pterosaurs and were not dinosaurs." (As I'm sure ptero would tell us.) (

    August 29, 2008

  • I've known since about age 5 -- my dinosaur phase -- that pterodactyls are not dinosaurs. (And being 5, I would go around telling this to everyone. Five-year-olds are masters of the non sequitur).

    What I didn't find out until recently is that, while some pterosaurs were quite large, pterodactylus was fairly small.

    Quoting Wikipedia:

    "Pterodactylus was a relatively small pterosaur genus, with adult wingspans ranging from 50 centimeters (1.5 ft) in P. kochi to 2.4 meters (8 ft) in P. grandis."

    I feel diminished. I feel inadequate. I feel like I need to go out and buy a huge prehistoric SUV to compensate.

    September 1, 2008

  • An off-road Guzzladon, maybe? How about a list of Prehistoric SUV Names instead?

    September 1, 2008

  • UAV! Now we know what ptero's REALLY been up to lately...

    March 12, 2010

  • *pays ptoll pto pthe pterodactyl*

    December 2, 2011