Did you know that the Pterodactyl was not a dinosaur? They’re actually a different type of creature called Pterosaurs, related to a dinosaur but not in the same family - kind of like distant cousins!

Pteranodon sternbergi
Pteranodon sternbergi

Pterosaurs were carnivorous flying reptiles with skin-covered wings and they ruled the skies of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The largest of these is Quetzalcoatlus northropi - with a wingspan of up to 12 metres it's thought to be the largest flying animal that ever lived! Can you try pronouncing that pterosaur? Sound it out: ket-sal-co-atil-us. Great name, huh?

We’d love for you to invent your very own pterosaur by using our “Ptero-Draw” and “What’s in a Name” activity sheets.

  1. Download and print the Ptero-Draw and What’s in a Name activity sheets. If you don't have a printer you can draw on a piece of paper, just make sure you leave space for a scientific name!
  2. Choose a fossil from the template and trace it onto your Ptero-Draw sheet.
  3. Use your imagination! What do you think this Pterosaur looked like? Was it big or small? Did it have claws? Was it graceful? Our handy “What’s in a Name” sheet will give you some ideas.
  4. Time to draw! When you make up your own Pterosaur, you can give it any head, body and legs – just make sure it has wings with skin.
  5. Name your new Pterosaur. You can use our “What’s in A Name” scientific naming sheet to help, or come up with something entirely new! What about a Melbournemuseumimimus?
  6. We’ve got even more Pterosaurs for you to colour in on the Dinosaur Walk website. Why not practise using the shapes of the real known animal?

As always, you can share your ptero-draws with us using #MuseumAtHome #MelbourneMuseum! Our palaeontologists would love to see what you came up with.

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