Pterodactylus, from the Greek πτεροδάκτυλος, pterodaktulos, meaning "winged finger" is a genus of pterosaurs, whose members are popularly known as pterodactyls.
It is currently thought to contain only a single species, Pterodactylus antiquus, the first pterosaur species to be named and identified as a flying reptile.
The fossil remains of this species have been found primarily in the Solnhofen limestone of Bavaria, Germany, dated to the late Jurassic Period (early Tithonian), about 150.8–148.5 million years ago, though more fragmentary remains have been tentatively identified from elsewhere in Europe and in Africa.
It was a carnivore and probably preyed upon fish and other small animals. Like all pterosaurs, the wings of Pterodactylus were formed by a skin and muscle membrane stretching from its elongated fourth finger to its hind limbs. It was supported internally by collagen fibers and externally by keratinous ridges.
A pterodactyl's wingspan was about 1 meter (3 feet); it had long beaks filled with about 90 teeth. They used these teeth to prey on fish, the main source of food in their diet.
Pterodactyls were not dinosaurs! Dinosaurs are generally considered to walk upright, on either two legs (like T.Rex) or four legs (like stegosaurus). Pterodactyls usually didn't walk at all (they flew), and when they did walk, they waddled on their back legs and pointed wings. Animals like pterodactyls are called pterosaurs.