Fun Ornithocheirus Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Jan 16, 2023 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Ornithocheirus was a Pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous period.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

One of the most interesting pterosaurs species that existed a million years ago is the Ornithocheirus simus. It's an extinct species that lived during the Early Cretaceous period in the current-day Cambridge Greensand, England.

It had wings and could fly, so it used its abilities to hunt for fish in lakes or rivers near water sources where they would make their homes with other dinosaurs like themselves who also preferred staying close by food sources. Did you know that Ornithocheirus had feathers?

It's true!

Behind the wings on its hindquarters, it had a feathered coat to protect itself from predators. The Ornithocheirus size was moderate.

The species of Ornithocheirus is one of the largest, most fascinating, and intriguing pterosaurs that ever lived. It has an unusual head for a pterosaur, as well as several other unique features which make it stand out from its siblings in this family tree branch.

The remains and fossils of Ornithocheirus are more poorly preserved than most. This has made it difficult for paleontologists like Harry, and Seeley to study its anatomy and understand how this creature lived in ancient times, but thanks to recent advances they may soon be able to find out all there's left unanswered!

The Ornithocheirus wingspan was massive proportionately!

Its long wingspan would act and work as a typical bird hand for it. Whereas most dinosaurs were composed of soft tissues and meat, Ornithocheirus was made almost entirely out of convex bones.

The Ornithocheirus was a dinosaur that possibly had high mineral content in its bones. It also appears as if they were very strong, which could have been an advantage for this species when competing with other dinosaurs on Earth!

Find more exciting and engaging content about the Chilantaisaurus and Ludodactylus for kids!

Ornithocheirus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Ornithocheirus'?

The correct Ornithocheirus pronunciationis 'Or-nith-thoe-kee-rus'. Its fossil was found to be from the Cretaceous period.

What type of dinosaur was an Ornithocheirus?

The species of Ornithocheirus of the genus Ornithocheirus from the Cretaceous period was a type of medium-sized pterosaur based on the discovered fossil and specimens.

In which geological period did the Ornithocheirus roam the Earth?

These dinosaurs' species were found way back in time during the Early Cretaceous period based on the research done on the specimens.

When did the Ornithocheirus become extinct?

This pterosaur species of the genus Ornithocheirus had a bird hand, pointed beak, and went extinct around 80 million years ago.

Where did an Ornithocheirus live?

This pterosaur genus probably lived million years ago mostly in the Cambridge Greensand region of England. The habitat of this ancient monster featured forests near rivers but it's most often seen during discoveries of the fossil with paleontologists like Harry, and Seeley from England, Brazil, and Greek zones as its remains were found all across those different countries!

What was an Ornithocheirus's habitat?

It was found in grass plains, forests, and mountains. It also lived on the tundra but it is not known if that's where its preferred habitat was because all the fossils and remains for this dinosaur were near forests and trees!

Who did an Ornithocheirus live with?

The Ornithocheiruses were a family of piscivores that lived together in herds and had a pointed beak. They would graze on grass, flowers, and other plants to get their different energy needs satisfied!

How long did an Ornithocheirus live?

The pterosaurs of this genus after extensive research are believed to have lived for an average span of probably around 45 years if not more!

How did they reproduce?

The species of this genus somewhat resembled a terror duck, and scientists were not quite sure until recently how they probably reproduced. It turns out that the female laid eggs after mating first with its male partner and hid these eggs under its bird hand!

Ornithocheirus Fun Facts

What did an Ornithocheirus look like?

It was a bird-like pterosaur that had a number of fragmentary strong bones, wings, crest surface, sharp beal or snout, and feathers. It also had two feet to probably help balance its body while standing on the ground.

It had long legs, large feet with sharp claws to grab the first fish they could find. It also had a big head full of teeth!

The face looked like it may have been able to open up when threatened which would make this dinosaur look fierce in defense mode! The early preserved specimens have also been seen with a pointed beak, and a crest on its head.

The Ornithocheirus skeleton had a crest on the top surface of the head along with a sharp beak or snout.

How many bones did an Ornithocheirus have?

The large Ornithocheirus skeletal system remains were found in Cambridge Greensand of England dating back to the Early Cretaceous period. From that, it has been estimated these fossils and remains formed after the Ornithocheirus death, this pterosaur species had quite a number of bones, around 350 fragmentary bones unless found otherwise!

How did they communicate?

The Ornithocheirus sound could be heard from far away while it flew high up in the sky! The way in which these dinosaurs communicated with each other is something that we'll never know. They seem to prefer long-distance calls, as when one of them would roar off for several seconds before moving on from their spot!

How big was an Ornithocheirus?

The Ornithocheirus wing size was 20 ft (6 m) and its body length was 10 ft (3 m). The Ornithocheirus height was around 4 ft (1 m)! The Ornithocheirus mesembrinus size was massive when compared to other flying pterosaurs!

How fast could an Ornithocheirus move?

It was one of the fastest flying pterosaurs. This dinosaur could fly at speeds of up to 24 mph (38.6 kph) and was one-third the size of a regular commercial airplane!

How much did an Ornithocheirus weigh?

It weighed 50-100 lb (22.6-44.35 kg). This primitive pterosaur is one of the largest that ever lived in prehistoric times, and it had a wide variety of interesting features. The discovery of remains was made by paleontologists like Harry and Seeley who were exploring ancient quarry pits near Cambridge Greensand!

What were the male and female names of the species?

Both males and females of this pterosaur species go by the name Ornithocheirus pterosaurs! The only differences between the male and female pterosaur were their size, coloration patterns on their heads or bodies to distinguish them from each other back then.

What would you call a baby Ornithocheirus?

The offspring of this species go by the name baby Ornithocheirus pterosaurs.

What did they eat?

It is a primitive fish-eating dinosaur. It had a tooth-filled jaw and needle-sharp teeth which are thought to have been used for killing prey; its spines on its scales would have helped keep them away during hunting or defense against predators such as other dinosaurs that were nearly large enough to eat this meat-eating animal alive!

How aggressive were they?

The Ornithocheirus is a dinosaur that was very aggressive. Its teeth were rough, sharp, and pointy which makes sense for hunting behaviors in the wild.

Did you know...

Ornithocheirus vs Pteranodon - The Ornithocheirus is a small, but powerful dinosaur that can fly. The Pteranodon has massive wings with feathers to help it glide through the air at high speeds and heights for hunting prey or fleeing from danger.

Ornithocheirus vs Quetzalcoatlus - Quetzalcoatlus is known for being the largest flying animal that ever lived. It weighed about as much as an endangered African elephant and had a huge wingspan. The Ornithocheirus on the other hand was smaller but just as tough!

What is the Ornithocheirus definition? Well, for starters it would be helpful to know what that word means. It comes from two Greek words meaning bird enduring or heavenly messenger who brings news on wings at dawn!

Tropeognathus and Ornithocheirus are differentiated by their thinner crest. Tropeognathus are more closely related to Anhanguera and Coloborhynchus than the Ornithocheirus. So, Tropeognathus and Ornithocheirus are not the same even though they look the same.

Is the Ornithocheirus bigger than the Quetzalcoatlus?

Some of the well-known dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period are Quetzalcoatlus, Ornithocheirus, and many other species. The Ornithocheirus is larger than the Quetzalcoatlus. The former species, with the name Ornithocheirus, a prehistoric creature from avian ancestry, could grow up to 10 ft (3 m) long!

What is the wingspan of the Ornithocheirus?

The wingspan of the Ornithocheirus is 20 ft (6 m) long. This creature could fly and had sharp claws on each foot for catching prey in flight or while walking around its territory at ground level, which helps it take advantage of any animal that might be scared out by its size!

Micropractor was considered the king of the sky.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Yinlong facts and Hesperosaurus facts for kids.

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


Second image by Nobu Tamura.

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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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