|Named By:||Othniel Charles Marsh in 1876|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 86-84.5 Ma|
|Location:||USA - Niobrara Formation, Pierre Shale Formation|
|Size:||Males average wingspans of around 5.6 meters, though largest males attain wingspans approaching 6.25 meters across. Females much smaller with wingspans averaging 3.5 meters. Isolated remains suggest an upper size of males of 7 meters though these fossils might not be Pteranodon|
|Fossil(s):||Other a 1,000 known specimens, although over half are of partial remains|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Pterosauria | Pterodactyloidea | Pteranodontidae ||
|Also known as:||| Geosternbergia sternbergi | Geosternbergia walkeri | Ornithocheirus harpyia | Ornithocheirus umbrosus | Ornithochirus harpyia | Ornithochirus umbrosus | Ornithostoma ingens | Ornithostoma umbrosum | Pteranodon eatoni | Pteranodon walkeri | Pterodactylus occidentalis ||
Pteranodon (from Greek pteron ("wing") and anodon ("toothless") is a genus of pterosaurs which included some of the largest known flying reptiles, with wingspans over 6 metres (20 ft). They lived during the late Cretaceous geological period of North America in present-day Kansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota. More fossil specimens of Pteranodon have been found than any other pterosaur, with about 1,200 specimens known to science, many of them well preserved with nearly complete skulls and articulated skeletons. It was an important part of the animal community in the Western Interior Seaway.
Pteranodon were pterosaurs, not dinosaurs. By definition, all dinosaurs belong to one of the two groups within Dinosauria, i.e. Saurischia or Ornithischia. As such, this excludes pterosaurs. Nonetheless, Pteranodon are frequently featured in dinosaur media and are strongly associated with dinosaurs by the general public. While not dinosaurs, they form a sister clade to dinosaurs within the clade Avemetatarsalia.