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Pterosaurs



Pterosaurs
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.36

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    greatly, Pteranodons, better, sightings, conclusion, power, professor, repeated, glider, recent, impressive, nearly, detail, research, total, died
     content words:    Some Pterosaurs, Cosmo Collini, Big Bend National Park, Cretaceous Period, United States


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Pterosaurs
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Pterosaurs are not dinosaurs. Even though these ancient, huge, scary, flying creatures are featured in many dinosaur movies, they are not really dinosaurs. Pterosaurs are reptiles; in fact, the name pterosaur means "winged lizard." Pterosaurs varied greatly in size; some types were as small as a robin and others were as big as a small plane. They began to appear on Earth in the Triassic Period, but they really ruled the skies in the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, for a total of about 150 million years! Some pterosaurs that you may have heard of are Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus. Some that you may not have heard of yet are Germanodactylus and Gnathosaurus.
 
2     Pteranodon was an impressive looking reptile, though its name doesn't sound nearly so impressive. Pteranodon means "winged and toothless." Pteranodons were six feet long and had an amazing wingspan of about 25 feet. Pteranodons had bony crests on their heads and beaks like a pelican's to scoop up fish. They could fly or walk on two feet.
 
3     Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of about 36 feet. It was the largest flying animal ever, as far as we know. Quetzalcoatlus was toothless, too, and had a long, thin beak. Its neck alone was ten feet long. Its legs were seven feet long. Quetzalcoatlus was named after an Aztec winged snake god.

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