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Dinosaurs
The Flyer Colony



The Flyer Colony
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.22

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    boney, carrion, hairy-looking, killing, momentary, opening, pointed, pteranodon, pteranodons, red-gold, riddled, settling, skillfully, uncontrolled, directly, altitude


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The Flyer Colony
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The cliff face overlooking the lake was riddled with caves. Large, seemingly featherless creatures dropped from those openings, spreading their wide leathery wings to catch the updrafts of air.
 
2     One red-gold adult stood in her cave opening. Behind her was a nest with a single leathery egg. Her mate had just returned from fishing in the lake and was settling down to warm the egg.
 
3     The pteranodon's head looked too large for her thin neck as she watched the soaring bodies that rose and fell in the air before her. There was a loose pattern to their flights as they got ready to claim their breakfasts from the water.
 
4     The slight breeze ruffled the hairy-looking feathers that covered her body, helping to hold in her body heat. Then without warning, she dropped out of the cave opening. For just a moment she plummeted toward the ground. Then she opened her wide wings. In seconds she went from an uncontrolled fall to flying like a skillfully controlled aircraft.

Paragraphs 5 to 13:
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