Fun Pterodaustro Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Jan 30, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
One of the interesting Pterodaustro facts is that they had a piscivorous diet.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The Pterodaustro flying dinosaur is a genus of Ctenochasmatid pterodactyloid pterosaur from South America. Pterodaustro dinosaurs are believed to have lived in a terrestrial habitat in the forested areas of South America, mainly Brazil and the Santa Ana Formation, Chile.

About 750 specimens have been collected to date, of which Holotype PLV 2571 was the first fossil discovered from Lagarcito Formation, Argentina by José Bonaparte. By 2008, 288 have been successfully cataloged.

This dinosaur with a pink hue belongs to the family Ctenochasmatid and genus Pterodaustro, named by the paleontologist José Bonaparte in 1969. José Bonaparte named it as undescribed nomen nudum.

The generic name is a derivation of Greek pteron, 'wing' and Latin auster, 'south (wind)'.

The elements are 'pteron de Austro', meaning 'wing from the south'. The specific name was given in honor of paleontologist Román Guiñazú, which is why this pterosaur is referred to as Pterodaustro guinazui.

Its bristle-like teeth are the most distinctive characteristic separating Pterodaustro from other ctenochasmatids as it was a feature not seen in any other pterosaur. They were filter feeders with a thin and bent snout.

For more relatable content, check out these Tenontosaurus facts and Miragaia facts for kids.

Pterodaustro Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Pterodaustro'?

The name of this pterosaur, Pterosaustro, is pronounced 'Teh-roe-daws-trow'.

What type of dinosaur was a Pterodaustro?

The Pterodaustro flying dinosaur is a genus of Ctenochasmatid pterodactyloid pterosaur from Argentina, South America from the Early Cretaceous. 

In which geological period did the Pterodaustro roam the Earth?

The remains of the family of Pterodaustro dinosaurs date back to the Early Cretaceous period, somewhat around 105 million years ago.

When did the Pterodaustro become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated that the last recorded appearance of Pterodaustro guinazui was around 100.5 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period in Argentina and Lagarcito formation in South America. Around this time, the species of Pterodaustro must have gone extinct during the Cenomanian stage.

Where did a Pterodaustro live?

Pterodaustro was a filter-feeding medium-sized flying dinosaur with a wingspan of approximately 8.2 ft (2.5 m) in length. They have been found primarily in Brazil.

What was a Pterodaustro's habitat?

The Pterodaustro are believed to have lived in a terrestrial habitat in the forested areas of South America, mainly the Santa Ana Formation, Chile, and Brazil. According to research and many studies conducted on dinosaur species, it has been found that most dinosaurs preferred living along ancient rivers and streams.

They would roam forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps and lakes. Also, the Cretaceous period which is known for a relatively warm climate, resulted in high eustatic sea levels, creating numerous shallow inland seas.

Who did a Pterodaustro live with?

Pterodaustro dinosaurs lived through the Middle to Early Cretaceous period with other dinosaur species like Oviraptor, Segnosaurus, Khaan, and the Tarbosaurus. These dinosaurs possibly lived in the same region as them. They were found in South America and were believed to be endemic to that area.

How long did a Pterodaustro live?

This pterosaur Pterodaustro dinosaur is believed to have lived from the Middle to the Early Cretaceous period in Lagarcito Formation, Argentina, approximately 125 million years ago to 100.5 million years ago. Its fossil remains are date back to 105 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Pterodaustro dinosaurs are expected to have had a relatively faster growth rate during the beginning years. They reached half the size of an adult Pterodaustro within a two-year span.

Their sexual maturity was attained well after since they grew at a slower rate for the next four to five years. They also are expected to have been oviparous, meaning they used to lay eggs.

Pterodaustro Fun Facts

What did a Pterodaustro look like?

A Pterodaustro skull extended up to 11 in (28 cm) long, elongated in shape. 85% of the skull is made up of the eye sockets located at the front.

They possessed a snout with an upward curving lower jaw. A Pterodaustro dinosaur had strainer-like bristled teeth on its lower jaw, mainly because it was a filter feeder and fed on crustaceans, algae, plankton, and other tiny aquatic creatures. The upper jaw contained teeth, small in size and with a spatula-based crown.

The back of the skull was also rather elongated. A Pterodaustro had a wingspan of about 8.2 ft (2.5 m). They had large and robust limbs on the hind side.

It had an elongated tail, unique for pterosaurs, with 22 vertebrae forming them. They had a pink hue, similar to flamingos.

Pterodaustro consumed their diet by the process of filter-feeding.

How many bones did a Pterodaustro have?

The first fossils in the holotype PLV 2571 found were a thigh bone, vertebrae making up the tail, and upper and lower jaw. The fossil elongated skull was also found in the specimens at the Santa Ana Formation in Chile and Lagarcito Formation.

How did they communicate?

It is not known precisely how the Pterodaustro pterosaurs dinosaur communicated with each other or with dinosaurs of different species.

But Philip J. Senter, an American paleontologist and professor of zoology at Fayetteville State University known for his research on the paleobiology of dinosaurs, believes that dinosaurs used to communicate by hissing and clapping, polishing the jaws against the upper jaw, rubbing scales against each other, and using environmental materials such as spray against water.

He developed this theory while reviewing the sounds of prehistoric land animals.

He also believed dinosaurs communicated vocally and visually.

These two types of communication were most commonly used during the defensive posture, courtship, and territorial fighting. The same assumption is made that the head ridges of some species, such as Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus, were used to amplify grunts or roars.

How big was a Pterodaustro?

The exact measurements regarding a pterosaur Pterodaustro's height and length are unknown. However, the Pterodaustro's size is estimated to be about 3.6 ft (1.1 m) long and weighed around 10 lb (4.5 kg). These measurements make it roughly the same size as a great flamingo. They also had a wingspan of about 8.2 ft (2.5 m) long.

How fast could a Pterodaustro move?

Being a pterosaur, we know they could fly. Therefore, they were actively mobile. Also, they depended on crustaceans, algae, plankton, and other tiny creatures for food which meant they were agile pterosaur predators. It is not known exactly how high they could fly.

How much did a Pterodaustro weigh?

The weight of this Cretaceous dinosaur, Pterodaustro, is based on the classification of the specimen collected. It is estimated this dinosaur weighed around 10 lb (4.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Adult female and male Pterodaustro dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Pterodaustro?

Since the Pterodaustro reproduced by laying eggs and the young ones were born when the eggs hatched, a baby Pterodaustro can be called a hatchling or nestling. This generalized term can be used for all dinosaurs since the majority hatched from eggs.

In the case of theropods, dinosaurs that resemble birds, a baby theropod can also be referred to as a chick.

What did they eat?

The fossil specimens found, MIC V263 and MIC V243, were the first-ever reported pterosaurs to have grits and stones in their stomach cavity. This dinosaur was primarily a piscivore that is believed to have fed on crustaceans, algae, plankton, stones, and other tiny creatures using filter feeding.

It had bristle-like teeth for the filtration process like a flamingo. These invertebrates were found in abundance at the site of pterosaurs.

How aggressive were they?

Since they were agile and fed on tiny creatures, it is safe to assume that they were aggressive.

Did you know...

Pterosaurs Pterodaustro may have been a nocturnal species as deducted from the fossil scleral rings found in the fossil evidence. Scleral rings are found in modern birds and reptiles feeding at night.

It had shorter but robust legs with an elongated torso, skull, and neck. They were quadrupedal animals and would have had a flight, similar to modern-geese and swans.

Pterodactyl comes from a Greek word that means 'winged finger' and is used to describe flying pterosaurs.

Are flamingos related to dinosaurs?

Pterodaustro had bristle-like teeth on the lower jaw for filtration like a flamingo since it was a filter feeder that strained food. This is also practiced by oysters in modern times.

The Pterodaustro had globular teeth at the upper jaw mainly for mashing hard-shelled crustaceans. Like other ctenochasmatids, Pterodaustro exhibits adaptations for swimming through splayed and robust hind feet. They had a pink hue that is similar to a flamingo, according to Robert Bakker, an American paleontologist.

It might be a consequence of its diet. It had a close resemblance to flamingos in numerous respects yet is not an ancestor to it.

Did Pterodaustro lay egg?

Pterodaustro dinosaurs were oviparous and developed into adults after hatching. The specimen MHIN-UNSL-GEO-V246 had an embryo in an egg belonging to this pterosaur. The egg shell was thin and flexible and has been preserved. The shells were made of calcite, mostly elongated in shape.

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 Jeholosaurus interesting facts and Syntarsus surprising facts pages.

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

Pterodaustro Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small and hard-shelled aquatic crustaceans

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Small dinosaur

How Much Did They Weigh?

10 lb (4.5 kg)

Skin Type

Pink feathers

How Long Were They?

3.6 ft (1.1 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Pterodaustro guinazui

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?


Where Did They Live?

South America
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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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