An international exhibition in New York explores the awe inspiring world of prehistoric flying reptiles, the pterosaurs who ruled the skies millions of years ago.
“Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs,” opens today and runs until January 2015 at the American Museum of Natural History, co-curated with an expert from Brazil. It is the largest exhibition ever mounted in the United States about these flying reptiles that have long captured popular imagination and, which play a starring role in any dinosaur movie.
“Despite persistently captivating our popular imagination, pterosaurs are among the least well understood large animals from the age of dinosaurs,” said museum president Ellen Futter.
They were the first vertebrates to fly, diversifying into more than 150 species ranging in size from a sparrow to a two-seater plane before becoming extinct 66 million years ago.
“It’s just a fantastic exhibition, taking those bones and putting them into life,” says co-curator Alexander Kellner, a palaeontologist from Brazil’s Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro.
Pterosaurs had developed their characteristic long front limbs and fins adapted to flying by more than 200 million years ago.