dinosaur museum

Nyctosaurus gracilis

Pronounced (Nic toe sore us grass sill is)







Original discovery:  O.C. Marsh, 1876
Name means:  “slender night reptile”
Location found:  Gove County, Kansas
Diet: Piscivore
Age:  84 million years
Formation: Niobrara Chalk
Wingspan:  7 ft
Live weight:  5 pounds

Nyctosaurus is an extremely rare pterosaur, and the smallest of the two genera found in the Kansas chalk. It differs from its larger cousin Pteranodon by having no wing claws, one fewer bone in its wing fingers, and one of the largest and most elaborate head crests of any flying reptile. The specimens we find in the marine sediments of western Kansas probably died while on their migration route, and their small size and lightly built hollow-boned skeleton makes preservation very special. To date only 5 skulls have ever been discovered. This reconstruction is the first 3 dimensional cast of Nyctosaurus ever.

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