Anhanguera blittersdorffi

Meaning of name: Old devil

Click here to view larger image. Image depicts Ornithocheirus, a larger relative of Anhanguera.
Click here to view larger image.  
Anhanguera was a carnivore.
WINGSPAN: 4 metres Anhanguera compared to a woman.
Anhanguera lived 112–99 million years ago, Cretaceous Click to view animal family tree Click to view animal family tree

Anhanguera blittersdorffi — an expert flyer

Anhanguera was a fish eating pterosaur. Palaeontologists who have studied the fossils of Anhanguera have discovered a great deal about its flying ability. To take off, it would have run into the wind on its hind legs, with its large leathery wings folded; once it gained sufficient speed, it would have leapt into the air and spread its wings. Anhanguera had thin, light bones, which would have kept its weight low — an important feature for a flyer. It had a keeled sternum, like birds, which meant it would have had flight muscles, important for flapping its wings. Its wings could tilt to provide lift when taking off and act as a brake when landing.

Anhanguera had long sturdy jaws, with a crest on top of its snout. This feature may have provided stability as Anhanguera snatched fish from the sea as it skimmed the surface. It would then have used its small needle-like teeth to ensure its catch didn’t fall out of its mouth during flight. This was important because Anhanguera pointed its head at an angle towards the ground during flight.

WHERE IT WAS FOUND The fossils of Anhanguera were discovered in Brazil.


Carnivorous flying reptiles with skin-covered wings.