Fun Zhenyuanopterus Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Sep 30, 2021
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Zhenyuanopterus facts include that this was a reptile found in China in the early Cretaceous period.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The Zhenyuanopterus is an extinct genus of a new boreopterid Pterosaur found in the Yixian formation of Liaoning, China. Only one species is known of this Pterosaur from the lower Cretaceous period called Z. longirostris. The species was first described by Lü Junchang.

The species Z. longirostris of the order Pterosauria was named by Junchang in the year 2005. The genus was actually named after Sun Zhenyuan who gave the fossil found to Junchang and Zi Fan.

The species name represents the long snout of the Pterosaur. A single specimen is known; it is almost a full skeleton found in the Huangbanjigou locality of the Yixian formation of China.

It is now preserved and kept on display at the Guilin Longshan Geological Museum in Guangxi, China.

Another specimen of the rear side of the skeleton was found in the same area and is now preserved at the Dalian Xinghai Paleontological Museum. The second specimen of the Pterosaur was described by Teng Fangfang and his colleagues in 2014.

The Boreopterus and the Zhenyuanopterus are both parts of the family in the order Pterosauria. We know that the Boreopterus is a genus of the boreopterid Pterosaur found in the Barremian-Aptian age lower Cretaceous period of the same formation as the Zhenyuanopterus Pterosaur.

These Pterosaurs are known for their triangular-shaped teeth. Teeth were smooth with a slight curve. We can see 86 teeth in the upper jaw and 86 teeth in the lower jaw.

They had needle-like teeth. The third phalanx of the wing digit, femur, and the humerus all had the same length and feet were smaller.

The forelimb was known to be more robust than the hindlimb. Eyes were known to be small and positioned near the end of the skull. The skull was longer than the one in the Boreopterus.

For short-tailed Pterosaurs, the Zhenyuanopterus had a relatively long tail. The reptile had more than one crest; it had two, actually: a rectangular crest along the top of the snout and a small crest at the back of the skull/head.

We have so many dinosaur species we still don't know about. These magnificent beasts that once roamed the Earth disappeared before we even got to know more about them. For some relatable content, check out these awesome Sordes facts and Darwinopterus fun facts for kids.

Zhenyuanopterus Interesting Facts

Was the Zhenyuanopterus a dinosaur?

Zhenyuanopterus were Pterosaurs; you may call them flying reptiles. They were not considered dinosaurs even when they were available within similar time and ages.

Features also do not match those of dinosaurs as these were smaller creatures with wings. However, they were known to be a genus of large Pterosaurs with almost a 12 ft (3.6 m) wingspan. Less information is based on reptiles, so not much content is available.

The species was known to be a phylogenetic predecessor to the Arthurdactylus.

How do you pronounce 'Zhenyuanopterus'?

The pronunciation of the name Zhenyuanopterus is 'Zen-yoo-an-op-teh-rus'.

What type of prehistoric flying bird was a Zhenyuanopterus?

We know that Pterosaurs were reptiles with flight of the extinct clade or order Pterosauria. The Zhenyuanopterus is a new boreopterid and a genus of Pterosaurs with a large body and top-flight characteristics.

In which geological period did the Zhenyuanopterus live?

The preserved Zhenyuanopterus skeletal structure confirms that the species in the genus may have lived in the lower Cretaceous period of the Yixian Formation site of China. They were known from the early Aptian stage.

When did the Zhenyuanopterus become extinct?

Research on this new boreopterid species suggests that they were alive around 125 million to 113 million years ago. This is a piece of speculative information and cannot be ascertained. However, it is known they lived in the early Aptian time.

Where did a Zhenyuanopterus live?

These reptiles are an Asian species and the fossil was found in China. A complete skeleton was seen in the Huangbanjigou locality of the Yixian formation in Liaoning, China, and this specimen is now extremely cared for in the Guilin Longshan Geological Museum in Guangxi, China for research.

The second specimen is partial and consists of the rear half of the body. It is kept at the Dalian Xinghai Paleontological Museum and was found on the same site as the first one.

What was a Zhenyuanopterus's habitat?

They probably lived near marine habitats as they could easily pick up fish and other small amphibians with their long snout. Our best guess is that these reptiles may have lived in forests with many swamps and lakes.

Who did a Zhenyuanopterus live with?

This information along with any content on the company these reptiles used to keep is not available. They may have lived in pairs or in a small group judging by the Zhenyuanopterus size. They may have lived at the top of smaller trees, but no content is available to know more about this.

How long did the Zhenyuanopterus live?

This information is not available due to lack of content; however, these reptiles may have lived for around 50-60 years.

How did they reproduce?

Not much information is provided regarding the reproduction of this species. They probably laid eggs like other reptiles, but no new information is available.

Zhenyuanopterus Fun Facts

What did a Zhenyuanopterus look like?

We have information that Lü Junchang first described this species based on a specimen found in northeastern China. The name Xhenyuanopterus is actually named after Sun Zhenyuan who provided the specimen to Lü.

The name of the species is in reference to the long narrow snout of the species. The skull of the species is said to have been 1.75 ft (53.34 cm) long.

Features included a bony crest on the top of the snout that was seen halfway along the length. Eyes were smaller and positioned near the back of the skull.

Long, needle-shaped teeth pointing vertically were in both upper and lower jaws. We can see 86 teeth in the upper jaw and 86 teeth in the lower jaw.

The longest teeth were mainly near the back of the jaw. We see from the skeleton hat the species had a long stout, a neck of medium length, a short torso, and a relatively long tail.

The Boreopterus skull is smaller than the skull of the Zhenyuanopterus.

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

How many bones did a Zhenyuanopterus have?

Although a full skeleton of the species has been retrieved from the site, the total number of bones is not known. Unless research tells us otherwise, we won't know the number of bones or characteristics of the skeleton found.

How did they communicate?

They probably communicated with voice and movement. Sometimes it might have been visual.

How big was the Zhenyuanopterus?

If we apply research and work of scientists, we find that the length of these large Pterosaurs of the early Cretaceous time was about 21.5 in (54.6 cm).

The Zhenyuanopterus wingspan is estimated to be 11-13 ft (3.35-4 m).

How fast could a Zhenyuanopterus move?

We don't know the speed of the species. They were probably pretty quick with their large wing-span.

How much did a Zhenyuanopterus weigh?

The weight of the species is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

This information is not available.

What would you call a baby Zhenyuanopterus?

This information is not available.

What did they eat?

They were probably carnivores or mainly piscivores with the main prey being fish and aquatic amphibians. They could have preyed upon other amphibians on land too. The long snout and long teeth must have helped them pick food easily from water.

How aggressive were they?

They were mildly aggressive.

Did you know...

A phylogenetic predecessor to the Arthurdactylus, the species was derived from a sister to the Haopterus and the Boreopterus.

Why are they called Zhenyuanopterus?

They were named after the man who found the specimen, Sun Zhenyuan.

How many specimens of the Zhenyuanopterus were discovered?

Two specimens were found from the same location. The first is almost a full skeleton and the second is a partial one containing the back half of the body.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Nemicolopterus fun facts, or Tropeognathus facts for kids.

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

Zhenyuanopterus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Likely fish and amphibians

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Dinosaurs with wings

How Much Did They Weigh?


Skin Type

Rough skin

How Long Were They?

Estimated length: 21.5 in (54.6 cm)

How Tall Were They?

Wingspan: 11-13 ft (3.35-4 m)









Scientific Name

Zhenyuanopterus longirostris

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Lakeside forest areas and marine habitats

Where Did They Live?

Based in Liaoning and China
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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

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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