Peteinosaurus (Greek for "winged lizard"); pronounced peh-TAIN-oh-SORE-us
Skies of western Europe
Late Triassic (220-210 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
Wingspan of 2 feet and 3-4 ounces
Small size; long tail; relatively large wings
Along with Preondactylus and Eudimorphodon, to both of which it was closely related, Peteinosaurus was one of the earliest known pterosaurs, a wee, long-tailed, hummingbird-sized reptile that flew the skies of late Triassic western Europe. Unusually for a "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaur, the wings of Peteinosaurus were only about twice, rather than three times, as long as its hind legs, though its long tail was otherwise characteristic of the breed. Oddly enough, Peteinosaurus, rather than Eudimorphodon, may have been the direct ancestor of the well-known Jurassic pterosaur Dimorphodon.