2 meters (6 feet)
8-10 meters (26-33 feet)
25 kilograms (55 lbs)
Movie canon appearances
Jurassic Park Series 1
Pteranodon is a massive flying reptile. When it spread its wings, it could reach from the front to the back of a school bus. Just imagine something that big flying around. It did not have feathers, but rather had a basal type of integument along the same lineage that feathers evolved upon called pycnofibers. Pycnofibers were very hair-like in appearance and, like hair, were made of keratin.
Members of the Pterosaur order lived through much of the Mesozoic, some species of Pterosaurs with wingspans close to 11 m (36 feet). Pteranodon males had a wing span of 5 metres (18 feet), while females had a wing span of 3 meters (10 feet). Making it one of the largest Pterosaurs found.
Pteranodon, as you can tell by the translation of its name, had no teeth, something portrayed (it having teeth) in the movie. It probably used the long crest on the back of its head to help it steer while flying. The movement is still some debate about whether these reptiles could actually fly or if they were primarily gliders, but the consensus seems to be that they could take off with little or no wind.
Their diet was fish and scavenged remains of dead marine animals. Quite a few Pteranodon skeletons have been found in Kansas in the central part of the U.S. This would have been the shore of a shallow sea when these creatures were alive, supporting the theory that they were fish eaters.
There were three variations of the cloned Pteranodon, which all had abnormal features that their original counterpart lacked. However, there were common characteristics exhibited in the clones such as a lack of pycnofibres on their bodies, which all pterosaurs had, was adapted to different regions than the original, hooked beaks, the wing membrane being like that of a bat, and the ability to use their hind legs for grasping. They did not appear to have any sexual dimorphism. The geneticists probably removed sexual dimorphism from the recreations because they wanted all the clones to born female and Pteranodon's famous crest belonged only to males in the genus.
The variation that was seen at the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park had many characteristics of birds that can be seen in its bipedal gait and neck posture. Their bodies were black with the wing membrane being tan and the back of the wings being dark brown. Their heads were blue with a yellow beak.
The second variation that was the most commonly encountered and retained the quadrupedal gait of the pterosaurs, but it had teeth lining its beak, great strength, and feet like a bird of prey as well as having a lifestyle just like one. They laid an estimate of six eggs and their young was able to fly at an early age, but it seemed to be limited so the juveniles could not hunt for themselves, requiring an adult to fetch them their food. This variation of Pteranodon had a color scheme consisting of tan and brown, but also had splotches of black on the tips of its wings and on its beak. This variation was also larger than the real Pteranodon by having a 32 ft wingspan, which is nearly the size of the largest pterosaurs Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx.
Once the pterosaurs were old enough they would be transported to the Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar to live inside the Isla Nublar Aviary. However, they were not planned to be seen by the public eye until phase two of the park occurred.
When Dennis Nedry deactivated most of Jurassic Park's security systems so he could steal InGen's dinosaur embryos for Biosyn he allowed nearly all of the park's terrestrial fauna, including Pteranodon, to roam freely on the island.
Unlike the other animals that were running wild on Isla Nublar during the incident, the Pteranodons seemed to have caused very little havoc. The only notable chaotic action know from the Pteranodons on the incident was from a lone individual who attacked the helicopter of Daniel Cafaro, Billy Yoder, and Oscar Morales, mercenaries hired by InGen to escort any remaining humans off of the island. Its strike damaged the helicopter and knocked its pilot, Daniel Cafaro, unconscious. But no one inside the aircraft was killed thanks to Billy Yoder who quickly reacted to the attack by turning on its autopilot and taking control of the helicopter, giving it a safe landing.
It is unknown what happened to the Pteranodon populations on Isla Nublar after the Isla Nublar Incident of 1993.
Wild on Isla Sorna
When Hurricane Clarissa stuck Isla Sorna the InGen personal fled the island. Some of the Pteranodons were either freed by the workers or broke out of their cages themselves, but a population of Pteranodon was still kept inside the Isla Sorna Aviary. The bird-like variation took residence in the southeast while the variation with teeth were only known to the southeast with an isolated population still living in the Aviary.
The pterosaur was the largest flying animal known on Isla Sorna.
By 2001, there were four Pteranodon adults and six juveniles living in the Isla Sorna Aviary. At some point, the family encountered a human as evident by the human remains in the nest in Jurassic Park III. It is unknown who this person was and if he/she was even alive when the Pteranodons found him/her.
The Pteranodon family living in the Isla Sorna Aviary had a major skirmish with the surviving humans involved in the incident. One of the adults detected the human visitors' presence in its enclosure as they crossed the bridge that connects the observatory to the Isla Sorna Aviary so they could get in the barge below. The adult pterosaur decided to land on the bridge when it was Eric Kirby's time to cross. Eric let out a scream of terror just before breaking into a sprint when the Pteranodon emerged from the thick fog that was surrounding the back of the laboratory to the front of the aviary.
The large pterosaur responded by snatching Eric Kirby and flying off as his group were racing towards the situation. The pterosaur carried the young human to a rock platform near its nest that was filled with baby Pteranodons chirping out of hunger. With the hungry babies setting their sights on him, leaving Eric to quarrel with the Pteranodons.
Eventually, the juvenile Pteranodons swarmed around him, but there was hope for Eric because Billy Brennan descended towards the nesting area to save the boy using the recovered paraglider of the now deceased Ben Hildebrand and was calling to him. The baby Pteranodons bit tightly on Eric Kirby's jacket, focused on the appeal rather than their main target, allowing Eric used this to his advantage by giving his jacket over to the hungry Pteranodons and leaping to a platform behind him afterward. Though as soon as he reached his destination he found there was nowhere else to flee to, allowing the juvenile pterosaurs to continue attacking him.
Thankfully for Eric Kirby, Billy Brennan was coming close to the stone platform that he was on, wanting Eric to jump to him. Eric was eager to escape his attackers so he swiped the Pteranodons off of him and he successfully clinged to Billy soon afterward. The Pteranodon juveniles ceased their pursuit as Eric Kirby drifted away with his rescuer, but there was one that continued the chase and managed to grasp itself onto Eric's back. However, the pterosaur's grip was not very firm and it soon fell to its death as Billy made sharp turns as he glided. Despite being rescued by Billy Brennan, the boy was not safe from danger. As the two paraglided three adult Pteranodons followed them with one tearing their parachute minorly. This attack made Billy demand Eric to let go of him and to jump safely into the water below.
Concurrent to the events mentioned above, Dr. Alan Grant and Amanda and Paul Kirby were racing through the aviary's walkway trying to reach Eric. But they were put to a halt when they reached a section of the walkway that was completely missing. This gave an adult Pteranodon the chance to strike them. It tried getting through the open passageway, but its large wingspan and head crest wouldn't allow it to fit through. So it decided to fly up and land on the top of one of the sections of the passageway that was slightly damaged and slide its beak through hoping to bite one of the fleeing humans. Because of its weight, the roof of the passage collapsed, getting the Pteranodon inside the walkway. As the flying reptile cornered its prey to the end of the hallway, the section they were in collapsed from the added weight of the pterosaur, plunging both the humans and the Pteranodon into the water below. The pterosaur quickly reached by emerging to prepare itself for flight, but was pushed back into the river by the falling segment it unwillingly helped detach.
As Billy Brennan glided away from any of the airborne reptiles chasing him, his paraglider became snagged on a bulging nearby rock face. With their prey in a weak position, two Pteranodons began to circle around him like buzzards, preparing to strike. Billy freed himself by removing his harness and fell into the riverbank below, but he was not free from the sight of the Pterosaurs. Dr. Alan Grant and Paul Kirby, who had just reached dry land, reunited with Eric Kirby, and were watching Billy from afar, rushed to rescue him. Once they reached Billy's position, a Pteranodon snatched him, but it lost grip of its prey seconds after grabbing him, only for a second Pteranodon to pin him to the rock bed of the river. Though, like the previous attack, Brennan broke free his attackers grasp. As he was attacked by the pterosaurs, Billy demanded to the two group members of his not to try saving him. After one final plea, the two pterosaurs that had pursued Billy relentlessly assaulted him at the same time and proceeded to viciously maul him as his body drifted down the river. However, Brennan somehow lived from his lacerations the Pteranodons gave him and he was later rescued by the Marines at the end of the incident.
A third Pteranodon began to chase Dr. Alan Grant and Paul Kirby as Billy was mauled. But when it tried to snatch one of the humans they both took a dive into the deep waters of the river where they swam to the barge and the rest of their group. The Pteranodon followed in pursuit but was blocked by one of the metal walls of the Aviary. While the two men went to save Billy, Eric and Amanda Kirby unlocked the door to the Isla Sorna Aviary to escape it. After the two unlocked the door, Amanda soon relocked it, though unknown to her it soon reverted back when she and the other survivors rushed to get to the boat.
The three Pteranodon adults escaped their enclosure after the humans had left. For some reason they abandoned their young, this could have been because they didn't know how expansive the world was outside of the Aviary or they thought the fourth Pteranodon would take care of the juveniles, which seems unlikely after the section of the walkway fell on it. The survivors and the Marines/Navy who had rescued them saw the three pterosaurs as they flew away from Isla Sorna. When asked by Dr. Grant why the flying reptiles were leaving their home, Dr. Grant suggested that they were looking for new nesting grounds. The survivors hardly showed concern for the escaped pterosaurs, being more focused on the joy of being rescued.
The escaped Pteranodons traveled a long distance, reaching Canada before they "cleaned up" by Vic Hoskins and his InGen Security Division team. How the situation was handled impressed Simon Masrani who had bought out InGen and had plans to make his own dinosaur park. He decided to appoint Vic to a high position in the InGen Security Divison with the hopes that he would reinvent the security firm.
Pteranodon was recreated by InGen a second time for Masrani Global Corporation's new dinosaur park Jurassic World. These new clones were more close to the original animal, lacking teeth having, the bat-like wing membrane that their cloned precursors had, correctly shaped beaks instead of hooked beaks, and the females lacked crests that were the size of the males. However, they still could use their feet to grab objects like the clones. Their bodies were gray with their heads being either dark red or blue and had an orange wing membrane.
Even though the Pteranodon created were female, they had a wingspan the size of male Pteranodon. One source even states that their wingspan was 25ft, larger than any Pteranodon ever discovered.
These new Pteranodon clones are also shown to have the ability to dive and swim underwater, similar to modern day seabirds.
A humorous incident once occurred at Jurassic World when a Pteranodon stole a man's hat.
After the hybrid Indominus rex escaped from its enclosure, it ran into the aviary while being pursued by the JW001 helicopter. A group of Pteranodons attacked the helicopter, killing the two Asset Containment Unit troopers on board and causing it to crash into the enclosure. The ensuing explosion killed Simon Masrani, who was piloting the helicopter, and allowed the residents of the aviary to escape.
A mixed flock of Pteranodon and Dimorphodon then flew into the Main Street of the park and attacked the human visitors in the area. One Pteranodon grabbed Jurassic World employee Zara Young where she was briefly flung among other Pteranodons until she was ultimately dropped into the Jurassic World Lagoon where the Mosasaurus lived. While in the water several Pteranodons dived to retrieve her. When one of the pterosaurs finally grabbed her, the Mosasaurus inside the lagoon saw the Pteranodon flying over her territory and proceeded to consume the large pterosaur whole, killing Zara in the process, who was in the grip of the Pteranodon. Another Pteranodon nearly crushed Gray and Zach Mitchell after it was tranquilized while in flight and crashed to the ground below. The flock was eventually subdued by park rangers and Owen Grady after they entered the area with tranquilizer rifles.
Another mixed flock was present in the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo where they also attacked the people there as well as the juvenile animals.
After the incident, Pteranodons were seen roaming the skies freely, now having become wild.
During his stay on Isla Sorna, Eric Kirby witnessed a Tyrannosaurus rex kill a Pteranodon.
In the novel Flyers, the flock of 7 Pteranodons that is seen at the end of Jurassic Park III has reached Universal Studios in Florida and starts to terrorize the tourists. They drive all tourists into the central Lagoon to eat them after sunset.
All creatures have a name:
- Elder: the patriarch of the group
- Flood: Elder's daughter. Her markings were blue like the waves and gray like the rocky shore.
- Fire: Flood's mate, a strong and powerful creature. With his crimson markings, he looks like the fiery dawn.
- Goldie: most troublesome child of Fire and Flood. Has a bright golden tinge on his wings.
- Lightning: another young. His wings bare two silver streaks like lightning.
- Spike: young.
- Trip: young.
The Pteranodons have a much greater body mass them their prehistoric counterparts, weighing 500-600 lbs. instead of 45 lbs. They're also much more intelligent. It is suggested that InGen probably wanted the Pteranodons to perform tricks in shows and this therefore enhanced their intelligence.
Pteranodon is encountered in all areas of the arcade game Jurassic Park.
Pteranodon is an enemy in the SEGA Genesis port of Jurassic Park.
In Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues, Pteranodon live in rocky cliffs and pits. The large ones do not attack the player, but can block a necessary path, while the smaller ones do attack the player.
Pteranodon is one of the enemies in the arcade game The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
The pterosaur is an enemy in the SEGA Genesis game The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Pteranodon appears in Jurassic Park: Trespasser on the mural in the operations center.
It is encountered in Chapter 3 of Jurassic Park III arcade game. There are two variations in this game, one that is seen in the Jurassic Park III film, and another that is the boss of the stage that has darker skin.
Pteranodon is one animal you need to get DNA from in Jurassic Park III: Danger Zone!.
Pteranodon is an enemy in Jurassic Park III: Island Attack.
Pteranodon is an enemy in Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor.
Pteranodon would have appeared in the planned game Jurassic Park: Survival.
Pteranodon can be created from paleo-DNA in the game Jurassic Park III: Park Builder. A larger variant named the "Giant Pteranodon" can also be created, and it may be simply a male Pteranodon, as it looks similar to what the males were planned to look like.
It is one of the carnivores that is featured in the game Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender.
In Jurassic Park Dinosaur Battles, a few Pteranodons appeared, but they are unplayable.
Pteranodon is one is the creatures that can be captured in the game Jurassic Park: Explorer. When a Pteranodon is captured this video will be shown. It also appears in a short clip flying above a river.
Pteranodon is one of the available creatures in the IOS application, Jurassic Park: Builder. Though it requires dino-dollars purchase. Despite being a carnivore and a pterosaur in the game, they get an enclosure without fences like what the herbivores in the game get.
Pteranodon is seen in Jurassic World: The Game as a Legendary pterosaur. Once you hatch your first Pteranodon, it costs 2,910 DNA to buy another one.
The Pteranodon appears in LEGO Jurassic World and did many of the same things that Pteranodon did in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World. Like the other dinosaurs in the game, the pterosaur sometimes participates in humorous antics, due to the game's comical nature.
The Pteranodons in the game come in a variety of skin colors. These include a color schemes seen in the films, such as a brown color like those seen in Jurassic Park III and dark gray with either dark red or dark blue marking like those seen in Jurassic World. They also come in dark gray with dark green markings, a color scheme not seen in the films.
Chronologically, Pteranodon first appears in the end cutscene of the The Lost World: Jurassic Park missions in an identical manner to their appearance in the actual film's ending, except that after the perching Pteranodon lets out a cry it pulls out a coffee cup and takes a sip from it.
In the level "The Spinosaurus", the humans launch a nest belonging to the pterosaur at the Spinosaurus to help the Tyrannosaurus rex that the Spino is attacking. When the egg inside the nest hits the large dinosaur, it hatches and the newly born pterosaur quickly flys away from the conflict.
In "The Bird Cage", a Pteranodon snatches Eric Kirby as he crosses the bridge to the aviary to feed its hungry babies in the opening cutscene and can be seen flying throughout the level's first half. As the player(s) run through the walkway to rescue Eric, an adult Pteranodon briefly blocks the path, but it flys away once the rope holding up an InGen box right above the flying animal is cut. Billy ultimately saves Eric Kirby from the nest and drops the rescued boy on top of on a Pteranodon cornering Alan Grant and Eric's parents causing the section of the walkway they were in to fall into the water below. As Billy Brennan paraglides away, several Pteranodon pursue him.
In the end cutscene to the Jurassic Park III missions, the same Pteranodons are seen still chasing Billy as he paraglidess.
In "Under Attack", Pteranodon and Dimorphodon are freed from the Jurassic World Aviary when machine gun fire from Masrani's helicopter shatters the enclosure's glass. They then proceed to attack Main Street and its visitors. In the level's first section, the player(s) must find ways to distract the Pteranodons through various means to progress through the level.
The amber brick for Pteranodon and the boneboxes that unlock its skeleton is unlocked in the level "The Bird Cage". It is one of the two pterosaurs that are playable in the game and it can only be spawned in two locations: the Jurassic World Aviary and the Isla Sorna Aviary. Unlike the smaller Dimorphodon, Pteranodon is able to pull hover switches. The juvenile Pteranodon can not be unlocked, but in the Isla Soran Aviary the player can control one to acquire the red brick found in the area.
The Pteranodons appeared in Jurassic Park: The Devils in the Desert, killing people, and at one point, a horse. The Pteranodons were all killed, with the last one killed in a zoo by a polar bear.
Pteranodon figures have appeared in many toy lines. The most classic is the blue/gray figure from the Kenner Series 1. This figure was so well known that it appeared in Toy Story. The figure was re-painted for later reappearances in Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs and The Lost World Series 1. Another figure was released for the Jurassic Park III toyline.
Other figures have appeared in:
- Die-Cast: Jurassic Park
- The Lost World Series 1
- Jurassic Park III (Hasbro)
- Jurassic Park III (Kaiyodo) (prototype only)
- Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs
- Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs 2
- Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs 3
- Hasbro Jurassic World toy line
- LEGO Jurassic World
An animatronic Pteranodon is shown in the T. rex encounter attraction of the Jurassic Park Institute Tour.
Behind the scenes
In the film canon, Pteranodon was ultimately chosen instead of the novels' Cearadactylus, probably because of its larger size, more spectacular/impressive appearance and massive popularity with audiences.
Steven Spielberg did not want to have the Cearadactylus in the first Jurassic Park film, as he previously felt that the aviary scene exactly described in the novel would have been too expensive and complicated to recreate, resulting in this scene being among the first to be automatically scrapped from the filming schedule.
Later in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Spielberg wanted to show an action sequence called Air Attack which has a team of gatherers running away from a pack of Velociraptors and leaping off a cliff with hang gliders from their backpacks. However, while they are safely flying in the air they are attacked by Pteranodons or Geosternbergia. Once again, the idea was ultimately abandoned (although conceptual art for both animals, as well as maquettes for Pteranodon, exist for that film). Another action sequence was developed but was also cut, where Pteranodons were attacking the rescue chopper.
The screech a Pteranodon makes at the end of the The Lost World: Jurassic Park was made by Gary Rydstrom slowing down the sound of him taking out tooth floss from his box. For Jurassic Park III, large bird sounds (including giant petrels and albatrosses) and the tree hyrax were used for the vocalizations of the adult Pteranodon. The sounds of the juveniles from the same film were created from mongooses fighting, who Christopher Boyes found and recorded while on a vacation in Hawaii with his family. Voice actor Frank Welker also lent his voice to producing some their sounds.
According to an interview of Sam Neill, the actor who played Dr. Alan Grant in the films, there was going to be a scene where the pterosaurs encountered the Velociraptors, but it never appeared in the final film. One of Jurassic Park III's alternate endings was one of the escaped Pteranodons attacking the rescue chopper of the survivors. This concept seems to have been reincorporated in the Jurassic Park: The Game scenario "Chopper Down!".
Pteranodon was featured on the of the Novel bundle despite making no appearance in the novels whatsoever.
A full sized Pteranodon suit was made for Jurassic Park III, but it was never used in the film.
Much like Spinosaurus, Pteranodon was to be an animal that was not listed on InGen's List in a revision of the Jurassic Park III script. This would have been contradictory to what was shown in The Lost World: Jurassic Park when Pteranodon (Geosterbergia) was seen on the fact sheets given to the InGen Hunters and as one of the screensavers in the Gatherers' RV.
In the Jurassic World storyboard, originally during the pterosaur attack the monorail that went over the lagoon was to collapse during the attack, dangling over the mosasaur's habitat. When a Pteranodon trying to kill a passenger desperately hanging onto the rapid transit vehicle, the Mosasaurus lunges out of the water pulling the Pteranodon down into the water and the monorail with it. Several Pteranodons then proceed to attack the marine reptile in an attempt to save their own, but ultimately the Mosasaurus gets away with its kill. 
They serve as one of two quaternary antagonists in Jurassic World, alongside the Dimorphodons.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Holtz, T. R., Brett-Surman, M. (2001). Dinosaur Field Guide, New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
- ↑ Dinopedia on the JPI site
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Jurassic Park III
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Jurassic Park: The Game
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 The Lost World: Jurassic Park
- ↑ Jurassic Park III Size Chart
- ↑ InGen Field Guide, page 9
- ↑ Jurassic Park
- ↑ www.masraniglobal.com - InGen Security Retrieved from http://www.masraniglobal.com/about/divisions/ingen/security/index.html
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Jurassic World
- ↑ Jurassicworld.com - Pteranodon Retrieved from http://www.jurassicworld.com/dinosaurs/pteranodon/
- ↑ Jurassic World Size Chart Poster
- ↑ JurassicWorld.com - Standard Package Retrieved from http://www.jurassicworld.com/tickets/standard/
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Return to Jurassic Park: Something Survived
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Beyond Jurassic Park: The Sounds of Jurassic Park III
- ↑ Dan's JP3 Page - On Sound Effects (August 14, 2001) Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20020812223622/http://dansjp3page.com/oldnews40.asp
- ↑ Jurassic Park III website
- ↑ Return to Jurassic Park: The Third Adventure
- ↑ Beyond Jurassic Park: The Art of Jurassic Park III
- ↑ davelowerystoryboards - Jurassic World (July 31, 2015) Retrieved from http://dlstoryboards.blogspot.com/2015/07/jurassic-world_31.html
|Jurassic Park: The Game Dinosaurs|
|Compsognathus • Dilophosaurus • Herrerasaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Troodon • Triceratops • Tylosaurus • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|The Lost World: Jurassic Park Dinosaurs|
|Compsognathus • Corythosaurus • Edmontosaurus • Gallimimus • Mamenchisaurus • Pachycephalosaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|Jurassic Park III Dinosaurs|
|Ankylosaurus • Brachiosaurus • Ceratosaurus • Compsognathus • Corythosaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Spinosaurus • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|
|Jurassic World Dinosaurs|
|Ankylosaurus • Apatosaurus • Dimorphodon • Gallimimus • Indominus rex • Mosasaurus • Parasaurolophus • Pteranodon • Stegosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus rex • Velociraptor|