Fun Mesadactylus Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Mesadactylus Facts For Kids

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Mesadactylus is one of the smallest Pterosaurs, which is known from the Morrison Formation. The fossil of this creature was found in the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western USA, which is actually rich with famous dinosaurs. This includes Diplodocus, Allosaurus, and Stegosaurus.

The vertebrae of Mesadactylus are unique in their neural spines are fused at their tips, a condition which could only be seen in some birds and larger Pterosaurs. The original specimen consists of seven fused sacral or hip vertebrae only over 2 in (4 cm) long. The wingspan is much like 28 in (70 cm), which is larger than most of the Anuroganthid, according to paleontologist Chris Bennett. Read on to learn more Mesadactylus facts.

Fun Mesadactylus Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?


What did they eat?


Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?


How long were they?


How tall were they?


What did they look like?

Short rounded skulls with short tails

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Other bigger carnivores

Where were they found?

Terrestrial and aerial


North America









Scientific Name

Mesadactylus ornithosphyos

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Mesadactylus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Mesadactylus'?

The Mesadactylus is pronounced as 'Me-sah-dak-tyl-us'. They actually got their name from the Greek word 'dactylus', which means finger, and 'Mesa' derived from the Dry Mesa from where the fossil was found.

What type of dinosaur was a Mesadactylus?

Mesadactylus were small Pterosaurs belonging to the family Anurognathidae.

In which geological period did the Mesadactylus roam the Earth?

The natural history of the Mesadactylus suggests that the extinct genus existed in the Late Jurassic period and not the Early Cretaceous period.

When did the Mesadactylus become extinct?

It is not known when this prehistoric Pterosaur went extinct.

Where did Mesadactylus live?

They lived in North America. We can make this assumption only due to the fact that the fossils were found in the Morrison Formation in Colorado of the United States of America.

What was the Mesadactylus' habitat?

There is no exact evidence that was found about the habitat, but this Pterosaur would have probably lived aerially and terrestrially.

Who did the Mesadactylus live with?

Mesadactylus lived with other dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic period. However, whether they lived alone or solitarily is not known.

How long did a Mesadactylus live?

The lifespan of this Pterosaur is not known.

How did they reproduce?

No exact information was found about how this Pterosaur reproduced.

Mesadactylus Fun Facts

What did the Mesadactylus look like?

Mesadactylus had arms bones, both cervical and sacral vertebrae, pectoral girdle bones, and the femora. Being a genus of flying creatures, they would have had wings.

Skeleton structure of Anurognathidae is fascinating.

How many bones did a Mesadactylus have?

Paleontology experts haven't been able to determine the exact number of bones this Pterosaur dinosaur had.

How did they communicate?

There is no evidence of how Mesadactylus communicated with each other.

How big was the Mesadactylus?

This Pterosaur had an estimated wingspan of just about 28 in (70 cm). This is smaller than a Kepdactylus, having a wingspan around 98.4 in (250 cm). Yet the exact size of Mesadactylus is unknown.

How fast could a Mesadactylus move?

Of course, due to being a genus of Pterosaur dinosaurs, the Mesadactylus could obviously fly. Unfortunately, we do not know their exact flight speed.

Did you know that a flightless Pterosaur specimen has been found by researchers? The specimen has been assumed to be a flightless Pterosaur because its bone structure was much smaller than the usual Pterosaurs.

How much did a Mesadactylus weigh?

There is also no evidence of how much a Mesadactylus weighed. This is because the fossils that were found of the genus were not sufficient enough to draw conclusions.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no male or female names for this species. Did you know that the researchers of paleontology still struggle to understand the differences between dinosaur males and females? Even in the 21st century, with all its technological advances, there are no proven methods to distinguish whether a dinosaur fossil belongs to a male or a female.

What would you call a baby Mesadactylus?

Like all other dinosaurs, a baby Mesadactylus would be usually referred to as a juvenile or a hatchling.

How aggressive were they?

These small Pterosaurs were less aggressive because they were smaller in size. They were also presumed to be insectivores. However, they wouldn't be as docile as the herbivorous Sauropods. Despite the Sauropods being some of the biggest dinosaurs ever to live on the planet, they were actually not that aggressive.

Did You Know…

Let's discuss some more Mesadactylus genus facts that can amaze you. The type species of this Pterosaur dinosaur is called Mesadactylus ornithosphyos. Mesadactylus ornithosphyos was named by Jim Jensen and Kevin Padian, who were well-known researchers of paleontology in 1989. From the one fossil found, many have speculated that this Pterosaur could have been a nocturnal creature.

The specific name of the type species has an interesting origin as well. 'Ornithosphyos' actually comes from a Greek word as well, just like Mesadaclytus. 'Ornitho' translates to bird, and 'osphyos' means lower back, which is actually a reference to the bird-like vertebrae. So, together it was named Mesadactylus ornithosphyos.

Many fossils, bits, and pieces were discovered from small Morrison Pterosaurs and were referred to Mesadactylus ornithosphyos, but paleontologist Chris Bennett suggested that only certain materials are referable to Mesadactylus due to the presence of the cervical vertebrae and sacral vertebrae. The other smaller pieces belonged to other dinosaur species.

Paleontologists Jensen and Padian considered Mesadactylus ornithosphyos as a pterodactyloid, which forms one or two suborders of Pterosaurs. They thought they could be referred to as 'wing lizards', the most advanced members in the group of flying reptiles. On the other hand, Christopher Benett, another paleontology researcher, claimed that the holotype fossils and the material didn't really belong to the group of pterodactyloid. Rather, they belonged to the family of Anurognathidae.

In paleontology, Anurognathidae is a Pterosaur group that is considered to be rather delicate creatures. This Pterosaur family lived during periods like the Middle and Late Jurassic to some stages of the Early Cretaceous period.

*We've been unable to source an image of Mesadactylus and have used an image of Pterosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Mesadactylus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

*We've been unable to source an image of Mesadactylus and have used an image of Pterosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Mesadactylus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

Kidadl Team
Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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