The Peteinosaurus is an extinct genus of Pterosaur that lived in the late Triassic period in the late age of Norian. These reptiles were known to live in the late period of the Triassic around 221 million years ago. The Peteinosaurus is regarded as one of the oldest and smallest Pterosaurs of all time. The name Peteinosaurus has the meaning 'winged lizard'. Although we do not know the proper Peteinosaurus size, we know these reptiles were quite small in size and probably were similar to a large bat. The Peteinosaurus reptile has one known type species called the Peteinosaurus zambelli. Although the size is not known, the wingspan is calculated to be around 24 in (60.9 cm).
Actively searching for the fossil of these Pterosaurs took researchers back to Cene, Italy. It is easily one of the oldest known Pterosaurs, but not much content is available as the fossil is not that well preserved. We can link these Pterosaurs to the Preondactylus as they show similar features to the latter. Many have even suggested that classification of the genus of both is void. They are actually said to be the same genus, just at a different time of growth in the wild. Reptiles in the genus Peteinosaurus have the shortest wings of any Pterosaur. The wings actually appear to be as long as two times the hind legs. Teeth are also small in this winged lizard. A conical shape is seen on teeth which might have been handy while hunting for insects in the wild. The genus Peteinosaurus of these Pterosaurs was first described by Rupert Wild in 1978 by the fossil found in Cene in Italy. The name of the genus can be broken down into two small words that link it together. The word peteinos means 'winged' in Greek and sauros means 'lizard'. The type species honors Rocco Zambelli. He was the curator of the Bergamo Natural History Museum.
We don't know half of the creatures that used to live before humans were even born. The world has seen many different species from a million years ago and we have brought you some details on these beasts. For more relatable content, check out these Zhenyuanopterus facts and Darwinopterus fun facts for kids.
They were considered reptiles, although dinosaurs came up a lot. These Pterosaurs lived in the same period as dinosaurs. Dinosaurs even probably fed on these reptiles called the Peteinosaurus in the wild.
Although the family is not known, the Peteinosaurus belongs to the order Pterosauria and the classification puts them in the clade Eopterosauria.
The name Peteinosaurus is pronounced as 'Pet-a-e-no-saw-ras'.
Looking back actively throughout history, we have found that the Peteinosaurus was actually one of the oldest and smallest genera of Pterosaurs. They lived more than 200 million long years ago, making them one of the oldest.
These reptiles with the name Peteinosaurus were known to live long ago in the late Triassic period. There is at least one thesis which features the Peteinosaurus as having lived in the late period of the Norian age. The fossil found is enough to judge the timeline of these Pterosaurs.
We know that the Preteinosaurus (meaning winged lizard) lived in the late Triassic period in the late Norian age. This late period basically features beasts from 221 to 210 million years ago.
Fossils have been found mostly near Cene of Italy. The first fossil was not fully completed and was present in fragments. The second fossil found of the Pterosaur might have featured some other species as the content did not have any diagnostic features of the Peteinosaurus pterosaur. The third fossil of the Pterosaur also had the same fragmented skeleton as the first.
These Pterosaurs with the name Peteinosaurus were known to live in a marine environment where fish and insects were abundant.
No content is available to determine the company these Pterosaurs used to keep. The Pterosaur probably lived in pairs or in a small group which helped in feeding or fending off predators.
The life span of the Pterosaur with the name Peteinosaurus is not known. It probably lived a long life as other Pterosaur species probably lived a life around 50-60 years long.
There is no content available on the reproduction of the Peteinosaurus. We don't have information on if these Pterosaurs laid eggs or gave birth to live reptiles.
In the upper Triassic period Zorzino limestone near the town of Cene, Lombardy in northern Italy, several preserved skeletons of Pterosaurs were first found in the 1970s. The genus Peteinosaurus is described on the basis of the content of two specimens (partial). The first specimen consisted of parts of the lower jaw and some scattered portions of both wings and legs. The second specimen does not have content like a head and a neck but possessed all other bones of the species.
The Peteinosaurus had a long lower jaw. The lower jaw was also thin with parallel upper and lower borders. The bone in the lower jaw had many small teeth attached which were shaped like curved blades. Teeth were packed closely. The first two teeth were known to be small. Wings were probably short with a wingspan of only 24 in (60.9 cm). Wings were only twice the size of the legs. Large and curved claws were seen on both hands and feet. The tail was bony and long and made up of half of the total length at around 6 in (15.2 cm). The tail was known to be stiff yet flexible according to the content available. Like other long-tailed Pterosaurs, the Peteinosaurus also might have had a vertical fin on the end of the tail.
It was earlier described as a close relative of the Dimorphodon macronyx (also known for the puffin face). Research content by some scientists supported this claim but recent research shows it is more related to the Eudimorphodon.
Part of the clade Eopterosauria, Eopterosaurs including the Peteinosaurus was small in size and all had a diet of fish, vertebrates, and invertebrates. Claws are an indication that these reptiles might have spent most of the time clinging to things.
*We've been unable to source an image of a Peteinosaurus and have used a sketch of a herbivorous dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Peteinosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]
The number of bones is not known. Although three specimens have been found so far, there is no data on the number of bones of this species. We will have to wait longer to know more about the species in general.
These reptiles probably communicated with the help of voice or sight. Most reptiles communicate with the help of their voice and sometimes chemically too. Some even might show different postures to show different emotions. They might show postures to attract mates or to intimidate predators.
The length of this species is not known. The tail was probably half of the whole body at a length of 6 in (15.2 cm). The wingspan is known to be around 24 in (60.9 cm). They were probably the same size as a magpie.
The speed of the species was not known. As they had robust wings, the speed was probably pretty good; however, the speed has not been quantified.
The weight of the species has not been calculated yet. The weight could be similar to a large bat.
There is no data given to know male and female names of the species.
This information is not given yet.
They probably fed on fish and insects. The diet might have also included terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates.
They were probably moderately aggressive.
The type species is named in history after the curator of the Bergamo Natural History Museum.
This name is given in reference to the winged nature of the reptile. The name itself meant winged lizard.
Three specimens have been discovered in Italy.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Nemicolopterus fun facts, or Batrachognathus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Peteinosaurus coloring pages.