Fun Hamipterus Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Nov 29, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
One of the interesting Hamipterus facts include that they were flying dinosaurs.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

The Hamipterus tianshanensis was named and described by Xiaolin Wang, Alexander Kellner, Wang Qiang, Ma Yingxia, Yahefujiang Paidoula, Jiang Shunxing, Cheng Xin, Taissa Rodrigues, Meng Xi, Zhang Jialiang, Li Ning, and Zhou Zhonghe in 2014, after the discovery of this Early Cretaceous dinosaur. The generic name consists of the Hami region with a Latinised Greek word, 'pteron', meaning 'wing'.

The specific name refers to the Tian Shan, a mountain range in China.

The parts and eggs that were discovered consisted of higher concentrations of pterosaur bones, which are mostly related to the occurrence of soft tissues and eggs relatable to fossils.

The site was screaming evidence of a nesting colony that storm floods had covered with mud over time. These dinosaurs had snouts with a crest, more prominent in the males than the females.

For more relatable content, check out these Harpactognathus facts and Austroraptor facts for kids.

Hamipterus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Hamipterus'?

The name of this species is pronounced as 'Ham-ip-teh-rus' and is better said to be Hamipterus tianshanensis.

What type of dinosaur was a Hamipterus?

Already suggested by the very name, Hamipterus tianshanensis is an extinct genus of pteranodontoid pterosaurs, referring to the history of pterosaur from the life history of the Early Cretaceous in the Shengjinkou Formation of northwestern China. It is known from a single species, H. tianshanensis.

In which geological period did the Hamipterus roam the Earth?

As discovered, the fossil remains Hamipterus tianshanensis had a life history of a pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous epoch, 145 million years ago to 100.5 million years ago in China.

When did the Hamipterus become extinct?

According to the unearthed fossil remains, they existed until 100.5 million years ago.

Where did a Hamipterus live?

Thanks to a remarkable series of discoveries in science, from the remotely developed Turpan-Hami Basin located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, Hamipterus tianshanensis fossils were spotted, giving an insight into the life of pterosaurs. These snout-bearing creatures lived more in the floodplains and forested areas.

What was a Hamipterus's habitat?

As mentioned earlier and deduced by the areas where fossils have been found, the Hamipterus tianshanensis lived primarily in the marine environment.

Who did a Hamipterus live with?

Paleontologists have learned that Pterosaurs, like many living birds, nested in colonies and they had preferred nesting sites for their young ones. The young ones of the this Pterosaurs species needed a degree of parental care, just like many species of birds today.

How long did a Hamipterus live?

TheH. tianshanensis had a life during the period between Lower Cretaceous epoch, 145 million years ago to 100.5 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

H. tianshanensis are believed to be oviparous. This means that they are believed to have reproduced by laying eggs. The young ones hatching from the eggs can be generally referred to as hatchlings or nestings.   

Hamipterus Fun Facts

What did a Hamipterus look like?

Drawing a picture of a flying dinosaur, paleontologists suggest that pterosaurs had unique features that distinguish them from other autapomorphies. They are known to have had a prominent snout with a crest on top and a lower jaw.

The front snout bone and the premaxilla with grooves both curved to the front. Both the tip of the lower jaws and the snout tip of Hamipterus were slightly expanded.

The deltopectoral crest was different from crests. Males and females both had the crests, though the male crests were larger than females.

Hamipterus was a piscivore dinosaur.
We've been unable to source an image of Hamipterus and have used an image of Nanshiungosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Hamipterus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Hamipterus have?

IVPP V18931.1 holotype was discovered in the layer of the Tugulu Group that dates back to the Lower Cretaceous. It consisted of a skull, probably like the ones present in females.

The preserved paratype is IVPP V18935.1, the skull of a male individual consisting of not just one but many skulls as a part of the inventory. Together, they form the remains of at least 40 animals, both soft tissue remnants such as the horn sheaths of skull crests and bones.

The pterosaur fossils were not damaged therefore giving considerable insight into the life and were preserved three-dimensionally in good condition.

Five uncrushed eggs were also discovered, suggesting the nesting and egg accumulation in the same place. The finds in China in 2014 represented the largest known concentration of pterosaur fossils, with the exception of the nesting colonies in Argentina of pterosaurs Pterodaustro.

How did they communicate?

It is unknown how exactly the pterosaur H. tianshanensis communicated with each other or of different species.

But, Philip J. Senter in the review of prehistoric animal sounds, a professor of Zoology at Fayetteville State University and an American paleontologist famous for his research works that shed light on dinosaur paleobiology, believed that they depended on hissing, clapping their jaws together, grinding mandibles against upper jaws, rubbing scales and by the use of environmental elements like splashing against water for establishing contact.

How big was a Hamipterus?

The exact measurements regarding pterosaur H. tianshanensis are unknown. However, their size according to the discovery is estimated to be about 11.5 ft (3.5 m) long with a wingspan ranging from 4.9-11.5 ft (1.5–3.5 m).

How fast could a Hamipterus move?

The H. tianshanensis were an aerial species. Pterosaurs have not always been very close cousins of their relatives. Pterosaurs were remarkable fliers, and many were also superb on the terrain.

How much did a Hamipterus weigh?

The exact weight of Hamireptus is not known. As a pterosaur, Cretaceous pterosaur H. tianshanensis based on the classification of the specimen collected is estimated to have weighed around 200.6-500.4 lb (91-227 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male H. tianshanensis dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Hamipterus?

Since the H. tianshanensis were oviparous, the baby was born when the egg hatched. This has been preserved and fossils have been found. The young ones of Hamipterus tianshanensis from the eggs are called hatchlings or nestlings. Chicks is an acceptable term to call hatchlings from eggs of theropod dinosaurs, the group of avian-like dinosaurs.

What did they eat?

For a species surviving in the marine environment in China and possessing a snout, pterosaurs are believed to be piscivores and, therefore, flesh-eating as well.  

How aggressive were they?

It is safe to assume that the pterosaurs would have exhibited aggressive nature owing to their diet to survive in their habitat.

Did you know...

Hamipterus bones, as discovered by Wang and colleagues, belong to the pterosaur ornithocheiroid lineage. This happens to be the same lineage as for the boreopterids, istiodactylids, and ornithocheirids species.

All of these families are said to possess long and narrow wings like birds and especially long snouts with teeth. Hamipterus dinosaurs have a close resemblance with ornithocheirids.

Ornithocheirids are fishers mostly in oceanic areas, owing to their conical teeth and narrow jaws. Although Hamipterus are believed to have lived in the inland region, it too was an aerial fisher, possibly fishing in the lake near its habitat.

Did Hamipterus lay eggs?

Incredibly, the location preserves five unhatched pterosaur eggs in the same regions as the other fossils.

The fossil remains of a Hamipterus dinosaur in northwestern China had fully developed eggs laid by females with a pliable and skinnier yet leathery shell.

According to the journal 'Science' researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences wrote along with collaborators from various research institutions in Brazil a paper describing the discovery of 215 Pterosaur eggs in the egg accumulation at the nesting colony, 16 of those preserved eggs contained the remains of embryos.

The eggs and the numerous fossil bones associated with the site have been attributed to Hamipterus tianshanensis, a flying reptile first named and described in 2014.

How many species did Hamipterus have?

Hamipterus is an extinct genus of pteranodontoid pterosaurs developed at Shengjinkou Formation of northwestern China and discovered by‭ ‬Xiaolin Wang,‭ ‬Alexander W.‭ ‬A.‭ ‬Kellner,‭ ‬Shunxing Jiang,‭ ‬Xin Cheng,‭ ‬Qiang Wang,‭ ‬Yingxia Ma,‭ ‬Yahefujiang Paidoula,‭ ‬Taissa Rodrigues,‭ ‬He Chen,‭ ‬Juliana M.‭ ‬Sayão,‭ ‬Ning Li,‭ ‬Jialiang Zhang,‭ ‬Renan A.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Bantim,‭ ‬Xi Meng,‭ ‬Xinjun Zhang,‭ ‬Rui Qiu‭ & ‬Zhonghe Zhou along with the species eggs in the same area that give a better insight into the history of a pterosaur, most of which had fully developed pterosaur embryos‭.

It is known from a single species in science, the type species, H. tianshanensis.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Gasparinisaura interesting facts and Turanoceraptors surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable baby T Rex coloring pages.

Main image by Karkemish

Second image by LadyofHats Mariana Ruiz

*We've been unable to source an image of Hamipterus and have used an image of Achelousaurus instead as the main image. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Hamipterus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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