Fun Noripterus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Mar 24, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
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Noripterus facts are quite interesting.

Noripterus, which means ‘lake wing’ coming from Mongolian nuur ‘lake’ and from Greek pteron ‘wing’, is a pterosaur belonging to the Lower Cretaceous Period. The classification of the dinosaur in the genus of dsungaripterid pterodactyloid means that it was a reptile capable of flight.

The fossils of the creature were discovered in the Junggar Basin in Western China.

A number of skeletons of the species have been found scattered in other places in China. The pterosaur roamed on the earth’s surface 140 million years ago and is distinct from other dinosaurs as it is one of the rarest pterosaurs from Mongolia.

A partial specimen was first found in 1973 and the name was given then. It was a piscivore and consumed mainly fish along with crustaceans.

The partial limbs from the fossils of the animal suggest that it was mostly a terrestrial creature but it did use the wing for flying. The bones of the fossil make it somewhat clear that they were hollow and filled with air.

As it lived in an area with lakes and rivers, it could easily use its teeth to feed on shellfish and other sea organisms. The Noripterus is one of the foremost Asian members that belong to the classification of the separate genus dsungaripterid.

The remains of the fossil material create the impression that the pterosaur might have liked remaining alone but it is not known. The size of the species is not much larger than the Dsungaripterus.

Noripterus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Noripterus'?

Noripterus is pronounced as 'No-rip-teh-rus'. The name was given by Yang Zhongjian in 1973.

What type of dinosaur was a Noripterus?

The study of Noripterus suggests that this pterosaur belongs to the family of dsungaripterid. It is a unique dinosaur according to its time and place bearing some sort of resemblance to the Dsungaripterus pterosaurs that lived at the same time as Noripterus.

In which geological period did the Noripterus roam the Earth?

Based on the study of the several specimens of Noripterus skeletons that have been discovered, it is has been assumed that the pterosaur roamed our planet during the Early Cretaceous Period. The first appearance of these pterosaurs has been traced back to 140 million years ago.

When did the Noripterus become extinct?

The Noripterus existed on the planet from 139.8 million years ago till 100.5 million years ago. Its extinction occurred about 100 million years ago when it was wiped out from Earth.

Where did Noripterus live?

The discovery of fossil remains of the Noripterus has been found in Tsagaantsav Svita, Mongolia. Additionally, it is a pterosaur from Middle Asia found in Lianmuqin Fomarion which is located in the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang in Western China.

What was the Noripterus' habitat?

These pterosaurs lived mainly in a terrestrial environment that consisted of a number of rivers and lakes. The inland lakes were ideal residing spots for the Noripterus as it was a piscivore and found suitable prey in the water bodies.

Who did the Noripterus live with?

Scientists are yet to find new material about other pterosaurs to determine what other dinosaurs lived in the same vicinity as the Noripterus. It is also unknown whether this species lived in solitary company or in groups of large numbers.

How long did a Noripterus live?

The lack of proper data about the Noripterus makes it quite difficult for paleontologists to determine the lifespan of this species.

How did they reproduce?

Not enough data is out there to find out about the reproductive process of the pterosaurs. Hence, the age of sexual maturity is yet to be discovered, as well as when the clutch size was and the duration of gestation period. But it is almost certain that the species was oviparous and gave birth to young ones from eggs.

Noripterus Fun Facts

What did the Noripterus look like?

The Noripterus shares several features which are similar to the Dsungaripterus, living in the same region and age as the former pterosaur. It had a stout mandible and skull, which are rare among pterosaurs.

The skulls are long and pointed with almost no teeth at their tips. The Noripterus’ teeth are widely spaced and cone-shaped.

The presence of a crest in the shape of a fin on the upper part of the snout gave it a unique appearance very distinct from other pterosaurs. The front edge begins near the middle parts of the snout and goes all the way near the end of the skull.

It is assumed by scientists that in reality, the crest was taller due to the presence of soft tissues which was a common feature of many pterosaur species. The stout proportions of the body suggest that the Noripterus had a terrestrial lifestyle although it had wings.

The lower jaws of the animal had straight tips which differ from the Dsungaripterus having curved jaws. It had an exposed tooth to feed on shellfish as the fossils show that it lived in the vicinity of water bodies.

The material that scientists are discovering about Noripterus can be used to create new taxonomy.

How many bones did a Noripterus have?

Although some good skeletons of the Noripterus have been discovered in China, the number of bones in its body is not known. Being bird-like species, it can be assumed that the bones were hollow and filled with air to help them in their flight.

It had a stout skull that might point out that the pterosaur survived on hard-shelled creatures such as crustaceans and shelled mollusks.

How did they communicate?

The mode of communication of the Noripterus is yet to be found out but it has been assumed that like most other dinosaurs that existed in the Cretaceous Age, it also made use of visual communication. Their flight may have helped them to come in contact with other specimens of their species living in different places.

How big was the Noripterus?

From research work conducted on the fossils of Noripterus, it has been estimated that the pterosaurs had a wingspan of 5 ft (1.5 m) which is very similar to the Dsungaripterus that existed in the same period. New material in the studies suggests that the total wingspan might actually be 13.12 ft (4 m).

It had a complete skull size of 8 in (20.3 cm) with teeth including lower jaws. The wing of the pterosaur made it different from other terrestrial dinosaurs.

How fast could a Noripterus move?

Unfortunately, we have no idea about the speed of the Noripterus although there are complete skeletons discovered in various regions. The presence of wings suggests that they could fly for travel from one area to another. The bones were filled with air to aid the flying and were also hollow.

How much did a Noripterus weigh?

The weight of the Noripterus is not known. Since it is similar to other pterosaurs such as the Dsungaripterus, it might have had a similar mass as well which was 30 lb (13.6 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male members and female members of the Noripterus pterosaur have not been ascribed any particular names as of yet.

What would you call a baby Noripterus?

A baby Noripterus is not called anything else other than a young Noripterus.

How aggressive were they?

Being a piscivore, the Noripterus definitely had some degree of aggressiveness when it used its sharp snout and teeth to create opportunities for catching its prey. The remains of the skeletons suggest this quite strongly.

Did You Know…

The Noripterus had cone-shaped teeth which were more exposed than the curved teeth of the Dsungaripterus. Although we do not know how it used to defend itself from apex predators, the teeth must surely have helped in some way.

The dinosaur was first named in 1973 by Yang Zhongjian from the discovery of the remains of a partial specimen found in China.

Soon after a new well-preserved specimen of the same species was discovered in Mongolia and this was given the title of Phobetor.

While scientists thought they had found a unique pterosaur among the Asian members, it was very soon realized that the title of Phobetor had already been taken by a sculpin hailing from the Arctic, and hence the name had to be struck off for the pterosaur.

Much later in 2009 when Junchang Lü and his colleagues were doing some research work, they showed the world that Phobetor and Noripterus do not belong to separate genera but in fact, were the same species.

It is curious to note down that the holotype along with other specimens of Noripterus was inaccessible for study and research work for quite some time. They became available in 2018 and new material is now being developed by people who are working in the fields of paleontology.

 

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

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

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Written by Moumita Dutta

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

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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 Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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