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Pterodactyls and the closely related pteranodons were two species of winged reptile native to Earth in its early history.


There were numerous species of pterosaurs, ranging in size from small (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs) to ones with forty-foot wingspans. (PROSE: Blood Heat) No one knew how they took off from the ground to fly. (PROSE: EarthWorld)

The genus properly called Pterodactylus was quite small, about the size of a chicken. They had bald heads and flappy, leathery wings; they fed principally on freshwater fish and small, flying insects. By contrast, the Pteranodon was "almost the size of a small aeroplane" and a carnivore which would snatch up terrestrial prey, either for its own consumptin or to bring to its ever-hungry young. (PROSE: The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book)


Pterodactyls lived during the Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years before Jago and Litefoot's time. The pair encountered one when they accidentally travelled to this time period. (AUDIO: The Monstrous Menagerie) The Fourth Doctor and his companion encountered a few Pterodactyls during an exploration of the Earth of around 177 million years before the 20th century, with one attempting to "dive-bomb" the Doctor. Later, having moved forward to "just" 75 million years in the past, they met the much larger Pteranodons, with the time travellers soon having to run from a voracious mother, ending up confronted with a view of the sea and some of its own reptilian predators as they reached the edge of a cliff in their flight. (PROSE: The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book)

A weaponised, genetically modified breed of Pterosaurs with armour-like scales were bred by the Silurians. They were utilised in Grand Marshal Jastrok's 2010s siege of Great Britain. (AUDIO: United)

One type of Pterosaur was brought to the 1970s during Operation Golden Age. They were used for general chaos and to help guard the Operation's base. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs)

In an alternate universe, an especially large type of Pterosaur were used by the Silurians as steeds. With a forty-foot wingspan, they could easily carry a Silurian. They were used as war steeds in times of battle and would cling to the side of the airships. (PROSE: Blood Heat)

A Pterodactyl later named Myfanwy came through the Cardiff Space-Time Rift to Cardiff in the 21st century. It was captured by Torchwood Three and kept as a mascot at the Hub. (TV: Everything Changes)

On New Jupiter, EarthWorld had a Pterosaur in its Prehistoric Zone. (PROSE: EarthWorld)

In 2010, Pterodactyls were some of the prehistoric creatures brought into Sydney by chronal waves caused by the SKARDIS. (COMIC: The Age of Ice)

Pteranodons in Hyde Park (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

In an alternative timeline in which all of history happened at once, Pteranodons were considered to be vermin. They were found in places such as Hyde Park and would chase people. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

Pterodactyls were among the species placed aboard the Silurian Ark to repopulate the Earth with once the catastrophe the Silurians incorrectly predicted had passed. Flocks of Pteranodons were known to live in the Ark's beach-like environments.

The Ark's Pterodactyls were presumably sent to the planet Siluria by the Eleventh Doctor in the 24th century after he stopped the Ark from returning to Earth. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship)

The First Rani genetically modified Pterodactyls to attack Koturians and bring her black blood and tissue samples from them. Sometimes they would also bring back the whole individual for her experiments. The Sixth Doctor recognised them as the work of the Rani thanks to the gold sheen on their wings. (PROSE: Something Borrowed)

Similar creatures[]

The homeworld of the Spidrons was inhabited by pterodactyl-like creatures, which attacked the Third Doctor shortly after he arrived there. (COMIC: Nova)

A zoo on an unnamed planet acquired a pterodactyl or a pterodactyl-like creature. (COMIC: The Didus Expedition)

Terrordactyls were pterodactyl-like creatures native to the Great Space-Time Void. (GAME: The First Adventure)

Tamed pterodactyl-like creatures were used on Anhaut as riding mounts. (COMIC: The Return of the Daleks) Pterodactyls were also used as riding mounts in the Yssgaroth's universe. (PROSE: The Pit)

Vortisaurs were creatures living in the Time Vortex which were similar to pterodactyls. The Eighth Doctor and Charley travelled with one called Ramsay for a while. (AUDIO: Storm Warning) They were forced to release Ramsay back into the wild after several failed domestication attempts. (AUDIO: Minuet in Hell)

Behind the scenes[]

A Pterodactyl soars across the river with the First Doctor in its claws. (GAME: Whodle)

A Pteranodon appears in the Doctor Who -themed Google doodle game. If the player goes to the egg which is hidden in a bush (returning it to its nest), the Pteranodon will later help the Doctor cross the lava river to get back to his TARDIS.

Pterodactyls from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship appear as enemies in the video game Doctor Who: Legacy.

Doctor Who: Battles in Time[]

The non-narrative material in Doctor Who: Battles in Time magazine pertaining to Dalek Wars explained more about pterosaurs and pterosaur-like creatures.

According to The Battle for Raxas, Pterosaurs were also native to the planet Raxas, and along with the other Raxas dinosaurs, proved to be more than a match for a Dalek attack. They picked up Daleks, grabbing them between their feet, flying high into the air and dropping them to their deaths on the rocks below.

According to Prehistoric Peril, the Perrincott were a pterosaur-like species native to the planet Senkus Sha.

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