The wingspan of the largest species of pteranodon (the term employed by working paleontologists as opposed to the culturally popular term "pterodactyl") was up to 30 feet. This wingspan is much larger than that of any modern flying bird.Know More
About.com states that it is unclear when "pterodactyl" became a synonym for pterosaurs in general and for the pterodactylus and pteranodon specifically. Most lay people, along with Hollywood screenwriters, continue to use the term. "Working paleontologists never refer to 'pterodactyls,' instead focusing on individual pterosaur genera," the site states.
Pterodactylus was discovered in 1784. The pteranodon was discovered in the mid-19th century. Later paleontologists counted numerous individual species among each of these genera.Learn more about Dinosaurs
Though there have been a few instances of scientists purporting to have found larger specimens, the longest known dinosaur that is widely accepted by paleontologists seems to be the Diplodocus, a type of sauropod dinosaur with a long neck and long tail that is said to have measured as much as 175 feet in length. There seems to be some controversy and debate around the question of which dinosaur is truly the longest, with scientists introducing competitors such as the Seismosaurus, which was once thought to be a distinct species but was eventually found to be a very large Diplodocus specimen. The Seismosaurus' discovery was announced in 1991, but its existence as a unique species was debunked just over a decade later, a fact that was announced at an academic event in 2004.Full Answer >
While some scientists argue that Deinonychus was a pack-hunting dinosaur, not all paleontologists agree with this assertion, though there is some isolated fossil evidence showing multiple Deinonychus specimens fossilized with a much larger prey dinosaur species. This evidence may establish that there was at least one instance of Deinonychus attacking the same prey, which was arguably too large to be taken down by a single Deinonychus, but that evidence is not sufficient for all experts in the field to agree that this dinosaur was definitely a pack hunter. There is additional evidence to support this idea, including multiple fossil sites suggesting that Deinonychus regularly fed on this larger dinosaur, the Tenontosaurus.Full Answer >
There seems to be a general lack of consensus among paleontologists as to what purpose the Spinosaurus' sail served; not only is there a lack of certainty as to why the sail existed, there also seems to be some question about whether the dinosaur actually had a sail at all. All questions about the Spinosaurus' anatomy must be answered using fossil evidence, which is limited to fossilized skeletal remains that show a crest of bones protruding upward from the dinosaur's spine. While some scientists feel that these bones provided the structure for a sail-like flap of skin, other argue that this spinal structure actually supported a large hump rather than a distinct sail.Full Answer >
Flying reptiles such as pterosaurs (also known as the pterodactyl) have not lived since the end of the Cretaceous period, around 65 million years ago. Modern humans have existed for approximately 200,000 years, meaning that no examples of human-pterosaur interaction have ever taken place. The thunderbird is a hypothesized cryptid supposedly seen in North America.Full Answer >