Identifying Pterosaur Bones

Wings

Teeth

Vertebrae

Long Bones

Skulls

Return

This illustration from the 1914 Hankin and Watson paper shows the general arrangement of skeletal bones in Pteranodon ingens.  This arrangement is typical of most pterodactyloid pterosaurs, large and small.

The bones that typically survive as fossils are the long bones, wing joints, vertebrae and skull and jaw fragments.  Pterosaur bones were very light and thin, and are only well preserved in a few special locations.  Many remains are fragmentary and difficult to classify.