|Named By:||Georges Cuvier in1809|
|Time Period:||Early Tithonian, 150.8-148.5 Ma|
|Size:||Up to 1.5 meter wingspan|
|Fossil(s):||Dozens of specimens, some showing complete skeletons with some even including impressions of soft tissue|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Pterosauria | Pterodactyloidea | Euctenochasmatia ||
|Also known as:||| Diopecephalus kochi | Macrotrachelus longirostris | Ornithocephalus antiquus | Ornithocephalus brevirostris | Ornithocephalus kochi | Ornithocephalus longirostris | Ornithocephalus meyeri | Ornithocephalus redenbacheri | Ptenodracon brevirostris | Pterodactylus brevirostris | Pterodactylus crocodilocephaloides | Pterodactylus kochi | Pterodactylus longirostris | Pterodactylus meyeri | Pterodactylus micronyx | Pterodactylus nettecephaloides | Pterodactylus pulchellus | Pterodactylus redenbacheri | Pterodactylus scolopaciceps | Pterodactylus spectabilis | Pterodactylus suevicus | Rhamphorhynchus scolopaciceps ||
Pterodactylus ( TERR-a-DAK-til-as, from the Greek pterodaktulos, pterodaktulos, meaning "winged finger") is an extinct flying reptile genus of pterosaurs, whose members are popularly known as pterodactyls ( ). It is currently thought to contain only a single species, Pterodactylus antiquus, the first pterosaur species to be named and identified as a flying reptile.
The fossil remains of this species have been found primarily in the Solnhofen limestone of Bavaria, Germany, dated to the late Jurassic Period (early Tithonian), about 150.8-148.5 million years ago, though more fragmentary remains have been tentatively identified from elsewhere in Europe and in Africa.
It was a carnivore and probably preyed upon fish and other small animals. Like all pterosaurs, Pterodactylus had wings formed by a skin and muscle membrane stretching from its elongated fourth finger to its hind limbs. It was supported internally by collagen fibres and externally by keratinous ridges.