Fun Muzquizopteryx Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 14, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Dec 07, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Muzquizopteryx facts are all about a flying reptile of the late Cretaceous period.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

Muzquizopteryx was a flying reptile that lived in the Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) period about 90 million years ago. They were pterosaur species and their fossil specimen further suggested that they were closely related to the Nyctosaurus that existed during the same age. The type species Muzquizopteryx coahuilensiswas described by Eberhard Frey, Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, et al. The fossil was excavated from the El Rosario quarry in the north-eastern state of Coahuila, Mexico. The specimen comprised a maximum portion of the skull, vertebrae, sternum as well as limb bones.

The skull of this pterosaur possessed a small crest pointing backward, which were structurally similar to that of the largest flying pterosaur genus, the Pteranodon of North America, though quite smaller in size. Due to a lack of information on the missing jaws of this particular Pterosauria, we are unable to determine their jaw shape and size. However, we do know that these Nyctosaurus species were completely toothless and had a narrow protruding mouth. It is presumed from their holotype that their diet included a variety of fish. They had a wingspan of about 6.5 ft (2 m) and powerful tendons were associated with it.

Check out the Darwinopterus and the Tapejara, here on Kidadl to discover more fun facts on these extinct animals.

Muzquizopteryx Interesting Facts

Was the Muzquizopteryx a dinosaur?

Muzquizopteryx was a transitional creature between a reptile and a bird. It possessed feather-like structures and also represented reptilian characteristics. They are also grouped under the Pterodactyloidea order, whose closest relatives are birds. Therefore, we cannot call it a dinosaur. Some paleontologists refer to them as prehistoric birds.

How do you pronounce 'Muzquizopteryx'?

Muzquizopteryx pronunciation is Muz-kwee-op-teh-riks.

What type of prehistoric flying bird was a Muzquizopteryx?

The Muzquizopteryx was a pterosaur and belonged to the Nyctosauridae clade. The species of the Nyctosauridae clade lacked all the functional fingers and therefore, they barely walked on the ground.

In which geological period did the Muzquizopteryx live?

These Nyctosaurus species lived in the Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) period, the era of the reptiles. Many pterosaur and species of the Nyctosauridae clade, for example, the members of the genera Alamodactylus, Cretornis, and so on existed during this period.

When did the Muzquizopteryx become extinct?

The Muzquizopteryx genus of the Pterosauria family became extinct about 90 million years ago, mainly due to the prevalence of natural disasters, like asteroid hits, climate change, and so on. It is also presumed that this species was unable to undergo adaptive radiation and was predated by the larger pterosaurs, which also existed during the Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) period.

Where did a Muzquizopteryx live?

The Muzquizopteryx fossil specimen was unearthed from the El Rosario quarry in the north-eastern state of Coahuila, Mexico.

What was a Muzquizopteryx's habitat?

Considering their avian characteristics and their presumed piscivore diet, we can assume that these pterosaurs inhabited coastal areas, estuaries, and lakes, and seashores. Most of the fossil specimens of the Nyctosaurs were excavated nearby the sea or lake.

Who did a Muzquizopteryx live with?

Research on the pterosaurs established the fact that they were gregarious animals. They socialized in small groups and may have nested together.

How long did the Muzquizopteryx live?

The exact lifespan of the Muzquizopteryx is not known. However, most of the pterosaurs of the Pterodactyloidea lived for about 10-25 years.

How did they reproduce?

The exact reproductive nature of the Muzquizopteryx is not known. But we do know that these species of the Pterodactyloidea order reproduced by laying small eggs. Some of the Pterosauria fossils excavated from a site in North-western China in the year 2005, establish the fact that these animals were gregarious in nature and may have nested together. Researchers also stated that their eggs had a hard-outer covering with an inner soft membrane, much like that of the snakes. These eggs were probably buried in sand to prevent drying.

Muzquizopteryx Fun Facts

What did a Muzquizopteryx look like?

These Nyctosaurus species of the Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) period had a small narrow body. The near-complete fossil specimen found in Mexico suggests that the length of their wing was about 6.5 ft (2 m). All the functional fingers were not present, which concludes that they barely walked on the ground. This group of pterosaurs had a deltopectoral crest, pointing backward at the back of their skull. Preservation of the wing specimen was partial, however, the tendons associated with them were quite powerful. These tendons were present at the back as well as in the front wing edges and controlled the giant wing finger and its motion. Preservation of the skull specimen indicates they had toothless jaws. The remains of their skeleton were nearly complete with the arms, crest, wing bone, and vertebral bones present. Only the lower tip of the jaw and the snout were missing from the skeleton holotype of this pterosaur of the Late Cretaceous period. The type species Muzquizopteryx coahuilensiswas described by Eberhard Frey, Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, et al.

The Muzquizopteryx was a flying reptile.

How many bones did a Muzquizopteryx have?

The skeleton specimen was nearly complete with the head, arms, and crest. Only the lower jaw tip and the snout were missing from the holotype. The description of these reptilia of the Pterosauria clade was given as small and narrow. The precise number of bones present in this species is not known, however, their holotype highlights a well-articulated skeleton.

How did they communicate?

The exact communication pattern of the Nyctosaurus species is not yet known. However, the early group of pterosaur species of class Reptilia communicated both vocally and visually.

How big was the Muzquizopteryx?

The well-articulated skeleton remains of this pterosaur specimen, which existed in the Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) period, was a small-sized Nyctosaurus species. Their nearly complete skeleton suggests that they had a narrow body. The length of their wing was about 6.5 ft (2 m), which was much lesser in comparison to the Pterosaur that had a wingspan of 32.8-36.1 ft (10-11 m).

How fast could a Muzquizopteryx move?

These species of the Pteranodontia clade were fast flyers considering their narrow v-shaped body. Their skeleton remains suggest that they were early Nyctosaurus species and therefore, barely walked on the ground. Their arms were modified wings and lacked all the functional fingers. The description of the shoulder of this nearly complete specimen indicates that they had powerful wing muscles.

How much did a Muzquizopteryx weigh?

This group of Pteranodontia of the Coniacian late Cretaceous was much smaller than other flying species belonging to the class Reptilia. Their weight is unknown at this point.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names given to the male and female pterosaur species.

What would you call a baby Muzquizopteryx?

A baby Muzquizopteryx may be called a hatchling or a nestling, owing to the fact that the species of the Nyctosauridae family laid eggs.

What did they eat?

These flying Pteranodontia reptiles of the late Cretaceous age probably preyed on a wide variety of fish. Skeletal preservation of this specimen highlights that they were toothless animals. More information is needed to fully evaluate the diet of this species.

How aggressive were they?

Considering their piscivore diet, these species of the Pteranodontia clade may be aggressive.

Did you know...

José Martínez Vásquez, a quarry worker of El Rosario unearthed the v-shaped skeleton of the Muzquizopteryx species belonging to the Pteranodontia clade of the Late Cretaceous, in the year 1990. Later, it was used as a decorative piece on the wall of an office. After gaining significance, it was removed from the wall and submitted to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where it was further studied.

Why are they called Muzquizopteryx?

The name Muzquizopteryx comes from the words, 'Múzquiz', which is a region of Coahuila in north-eastern Mexico, from where the remains of this species were excavated. The term 'pteryx' is a Greek word, which means 'wing'.

How many specimens of Muzquizopteryx were discovered?

Two specimens of this species of the Nyctosauridae family were discovered by the quarry workers in Mexico.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Zuniceratops facts, or Caviramus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Karkemish

Second image by Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata

Muzquizopteryx Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fish

what Type of Animal were they?

Piscivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Small body, elongated head, toothless jaw

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

Skin Type

Pycnofibers

How Long Were They?

N/A

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptile

Genus

Muzquizopteryx

Family

Nyctosauridae

Scientific Name

Muzquizopteryx coahuilensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Coastal areas, estuaries, lakes, and seashores

Where Did They Live?

El Rosario, Mexico
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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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