Pterodactyl was a pterosaur, a type of flying reptile. It was not a dinosaur, though it lived during the same period. Pterodactyl lived during the Late Jurassic and resided in Africa and Europe. The first Pterodactyl fossil was discovered in 1815.
Probably the most well-known flying dinosaur, the Pterodactyl is not actually a dinosaur at all, but a pterosaur! Pterosaurs were airborne reptiles of the Late Jurassic period, and they are frequently associated with dinosaurs in the popular imagination. It soared through the pre-historic skies of what is now Europe and northern Africa.
In art, the pterodactyl is usually portrayed with bat-like wings, the membranes of which are stretched taut between its elongated fingers. It is also frequently shown with a crest on its head, although there is some debate as to whether this crest was extant in the Pterodactyl as with other Pterosaurs. In fact, many artistic portrayals of the Pterodactyl seem to be heavily influenced by the physiology of the Pteranodon.
The majority of specimens of Pterodactyl have been approximately the size of modern large birds such as hawks and eagles, considerably smaller than the Pteranodon and smaller than many artistic portrayals. Pterodactyls are more correctly known by the scientific term Pterodactylus, and images associated with that term tend to be more accurate and distinct from the Pteranodon.
All the Pterodactyl illustrations below were collected from the internet. Enjoy and explore: