Fun Kepodactylus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Apr 05, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Kepodactylus facts are all about a pterosaur of the Late Jurassic period.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

Kepodatylus (Kepodactylus insperatus) was a flying reptile of the Late Jurassic period, that existed about 145 million years ago. A team from the Denver Museum of Natural History carried out the excavation of the fossils in the Garden Park of Colorado, United States.

The remains included a humerus, a few finger bones, a crushed cervical vertebra, and a metatarsal. These were not enough to get a detailed idea of this creature.

However, the paleontologists were able to point them out as pterosaurs and grouped them as a new genus, named Kepodactylus. Due to a lack of adaptive radiation and evolution, these creatures of Colorado succumbed to extinction.

Kepodactylus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Kepodactylus '?

Kepodactylus is pronounced as Kee-po-dac-ty-lus.

What type of reptile was a Kepodactylus?

Kepodactylus was a flying reptile belonging to the Ctenochasmatidae family, which is under the Pterosauria order. It was not a dinosaur.

In which geological period did the Kepodactylus roam the earth?

These species existed during the Late Jurassic period from Kimmeridgian Age to Tithonian Age. It occurred about 145 million years ago and was the third era of the Jurassic period. It was the time when all the evolved species of reptiles, including sauropods, theropods, and pterosaurs, roamed the Earth.

When did the Kepodactylus become extinct?

The Kepodactylus pterosaur became extinct about 145 million years ago due to natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, meteor impacts, and forest fire. A lack of adaptive radiation, followed by a lack of evolution, as well as the larger predatory dinosaur species of that era were also the reasons for their extinction.

Where did a Kepodactylus live?

The fossils of this extinct genus were excavated from the Garden Park in Colorado in the United States. This was carried out by a team from the Denver Museum of Natural History, who also came across small disarticulated bones of several other animal species in the quarry.

What was a Kepodactylus's habitat?

After the various pieces of research, the paleontologists confirmed that the bones were not of a dinosaur, but belonged to an extinct genus of Pterosaur in Colorado. As their diet included fish, it may be assumed that these basal member pterosaurs lived in wetlands and nearby water bodies from where they could catch their prey easily.

Who did a Kepodactylus's live with?

Although we don't have sufficient information about the social behavior of this species, researchers claim that most of the pterosaurs nested in groups.

How long did a Kepodactylus live?

Due to a lack of specimen evidence, we are unable to determine the exact life expectancy of these species. However, several pieces of research conducted by scientists and paleontologists reveal that most of the creatures of the Jurassic period lived for about 60 to 70 years. This included the dinosaur species as well as the pterosaurs.

How did they reproduce?

As this extinct genus of pterosaur was a reptile, it can be deduced that they were egg-laying animals. They probably nested in groups and kept an eye on their eggs. They were quite territorial in nature and protected their juveniles and eggs.

Their rounded eggs were amniotic in nature. Research on the pterosaur fossils by the science community provided us the information that the males had smaller pelvises along with a large cranial chest.

Females, on the other hand, were devoid of any cranial chest but had large pelvises. Their eggs were soft with a covering of parchment-like shells. These eggs were buried in the ground from where they derived water and other nutrients.


Kepodactylus Fun Facts

What did a Kepodactylus look like?

The researchers of the Denver Museum of Natural History, after extensive fieldwork in the Morrison Formation of Colorado and research on the retrieved fossil pieces, described the species as a flying reptile. The remains retrieved included a single crushed caudal vertebra, few finger bones, only the left humerus along a single metatarsal.

Although the bones were heavily damaged, researchers were able to conclude that these creatures belonged to the pterosaur clade and grouped them as a separate genus named Kepodactylus.

They had large and sharp beak with a huge wingspan. There were not very colorful.

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

Kepodactylos was a new genus-species grouped under the pterosaur order.

How many bones did a Kepodactylus have?

Only a single specimen of Kepodactylus is excavated till now, which does not provide sufficient information on the total number of bones they had. The fossils retrieved included a single cervical vertebra, a few wing finger bones, the left humerus, and a single metatarsal.

Although the cervical vertebra was heavily damaged, researchers were able to find extensive similarities with those of the Pterodactylus.

How did they communicate?

The mode of communication was both vocally and visually. They were able to produce low grunts and other similar sounds. They may have also engaged in duels and displayed numerous wing and tail movements.

How big was a Kepodactylus?

Unfortunately, the scanty fossil evidence did not provide us any information on the size of these species of the extinct genus. However, the wingspan of these creatures is known, which is about 8.3 ft (2.5 m). This was bigger than the wingspan of Nemicolopterus crypticus, which was only 10 in (25 cm).

How fast could a Kepodactylus move?

Although the exact speed with which these Kepodactylus creatures flew is unknown, we do know that pterosaurs had an average speed of 56 mph (90 kph). The pycnofibers present on their skin developed into feathers and other hair-like structures, that helped the creature to glide and drift in the air. They used their head to navigate during flight.

How much did a Kepodactylus weigh?

The weight of these creatures from Colorado is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The science communities have not provided any names to the male and female species of the Kepodactylus pterosaurs of the Jurassic period.

What would you call a baby Kepodactylus?

A baby Kepodactylus can be called a hatchling or a nestling, owing to the fact that they were egg-laying animals.

What did they eat?

These pterosaurs of the genus Kepodactylus from Colorado ate an array of fish. They were primarily piscivores. Their long protruded mouth helped them to capture their prey easily from the shallow water bodies.

How aggressive were they?

As these were flying reptiles with small bodies, we can assume that these creatures were moderately aggressive and intelligent. Also, they were territorial in nature and may have engaged in duels with other dinosaur species or animals of their kind.

Did You Know...

The name of the genus Kepodactylus is derived from the Greek words, 'kepos' meaning 'garden' and 'daktylos' meaning 'fingers'. The term Kepos referred to the Garden Park of Colorado from where the remains of this creature were excavated, and the term 'daktylos' referred to the characteristic finger-like bones of this pterosaur.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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