[ ter-uh-sawr ]

  1. any flying reptile of the extinct order Pterosauria, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, having the outside digit of the forelimb greatly elongated and supporting a wing membrane.

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Origin of pterosaur

1860–65; <New Latin Pterosauria;see ptero-, -saur

Words Nearby pterosaur Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pterosaur in a sentence

  • The last, and perhaps the most interesting, of the doomed monsters of the Mesozoic was the pterosaur, or "flying reptile."

    The Story of Evolution | Joseph McCabe

British Dictionary definitions for pterosaur


/ (ˈtɛrəˌsɔː) /

  1. any extinct flying reptile of the order Pterosauria, of Jurassic and Cretaceous times: included the pterodactyls: Compare dinosaur, plesiosaur

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for pterosaur


[ tĕrə-sôr′ ]

  1. Any of various extinct flying reptiles of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods with wings consisting of a flap of skin supported by an elongated fourth digit on each forelimb (rather than an elongated second digit as in birds). Some pterosaurs were unique among reptiles in being covered with hair. Pterosaurs had wingspans ranging from less than 0.3 m (1 ft) to close to 15.2 m (50 ft).

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.