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Pteranodon

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« "Pterodactyloid Pterosaur. It's probably a Pteranodon." »
Nick Cutter's description of Pteranodon[src]


Pteranodon was a large pterosaur from the Cretaceous period.

Characteristics

Pteranodon was a large flying reptile with a wingspan of 6 to 8 metres (20-26 feet), and Pteranodon were excellent fliers and gliders. Some Pteranodons possessed a diet of fish and small reptiles, and therefore were normally passive towards humans (except for when a human was threatening their nests), but would swiftly and efficiently pursue fish and reptiles on ground or in the air. (Episode 1.5) Other Pteranodons, however, were carnivorous, and were much more vicious and aggressive towards humans. These aggressive, carnivorous Pteranodons were known to attack and subdue large animals such as humans, then rip their torsos open and devour their internal organs. (The New World)

Pteranodon was fiercely defensive of their nests and territory, attacking any intruders including humans which entered or even came near their nests. (Episode 2.2, 3.10, The New World) Pteranodon also regarded the color red as a sign of another Pteranodon of the opposite sex, and were therefore attracted to the color upon seeing it so as to mate with what they believed to be the other Pteranodon. (Episode 1.5)

Incursions and encounters

1x5 PteranodonOnRoofTop

The Pteranodon resting on a roof top. (Episode 1.5)

Episode 1.5

A Pteranodon came through an Anomaly to the Forest Heights Country Club golf course in the present. Initially, it was incorrectly blamed by the Home Office Anomaly research team for Andy's death, but in reality it was a flock of Anurognathus.

Stephen Hart noticed the Pteranodon swooping down at Nick Cutter, Abby Maitland and himself. Fortunately for them all, they ducked and evaded the creature. Cutter observed the Pteranodon until he caught sight of Connor Temple and Rex on the golf course. The Pteranodon then chased Connor and Rex (it was actually trying to eat just Rex) but the pair managed to escape and the Pteranodon flew off.

The Home Office team tracked down the Pteranodon which was now in the city. Stephen, Cutter and Claudia Brown found it roosting on a roof top. Stephen attempted to tranquilise it but the Pteranodon flew away. Using Stephen's red shirt as a flag, Cutter lured the creature towards them. As the Pteranodon approached them, Stephen tranquilised it. As it came tumbling down, it cornered Claudia at the edge of the roof top and then knocked her out with its beak.

1x5 Pteranodon 88

The Pteranodon taking to the skies shortly after waking up. (Episode 1.5)

Later, the Home Office team attempted to return the tranquilised Pteranodon back through the Anomaly by using a red flag. As the Pteranodon got up and took to the sky, it flew in the opposite direction. However, the flag lured the Pteranodon back through the Anomaly moments before closing.

Episode 2.2

2x2 PteranodonInCretaceousAttacksHelen

A Pteranodon in the Cretaceous attacking Helen Cutter for entering its nest. (Episode 2.2)

In a desert in the CretaceousHelen Cutter attempted to steal a Pteranodon egg. However, the parent Pteranodon attacked her, causing her to bump her head. Helen then stabbed the creature with a knife and the Pteranodon flew away in pain.

Episode 3.10

A Pteranodon attacked Helen in a Cretaceous forest when she entered its nest trying to reach an Anomaly.

Episode 4.1

Several pterosaurs that looked identical to Pteranodon were visible from the Cretaceous forest, flying in the skies.

The New World

NW1x1 PteranodonAttacksJack

A Pteranodon about to devour Jack. (The New World)

A female Pteranodon came through an Anomaly to Stanley Park in the present, and built a nest in the Park. It went into Vancouver and killed Jack one night while Jack was skydiving, and abducted Trevor Molison the next day and kept him captive in its nest.

When the Special Projects Group found the Pteranodon's nest, Dylan Weir shot the Pteranodon with numerous tranquilisers until it fell unconscious, while Evan Cross saved Trevor. Shortly afterwards, the Pteranodon regained consciousness when a Utahraptor arrived, and the two creatures fought; the Pteranodon fatally wounded the raptor by ripping its side open with its beak, but was then seemingly killed when the raptor snapped its neck.

NW1x1 Pteranodon 44

A Pteranodon fighting with a Utahraptor. (The New World)

The Pteranodon was subsequently taken back to Cross Photonics, where it was frozen in the building's freezer room until its body could be returned to its home time.

The Sound of Thunder: Part 1

A Pteranodon was seen flying above a Spaghetti Junction at a lake in the Cretaceous.

Other references

Episode 1.1

Connor Temple included Pteranodon in his database of prehistoric creatures. Ben Trent also had several Pteranodon toys in his bedroom.

Non-canon

At least one Pteranodon became caught up in Chaos, the Anomaly Creature.

Real life

Pteranodon (name meaning "wing without tooth") was a pterosaur genus, which existed from 86 to 84.5 million years ago, and included some of the largest ever flying reptiles known. Female Pteranodon had a wingspan of 12 feet (3.8 metres), and the larger male Pteranodon had a wingspan of 18 feet (5.6 metres). Pteranodon were notable and distinguishable for possessing slender, pointed, toothless beaks among a few other characteristics. Approximately 1,200 Pteranodon specimen remains have been discovered. Pteranodon was found in parts of North America such as what is now Alabama, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas and Wyoming.

Trivia

  • Though it is unconfirmed, fans have speculated that the pterosaurs seen in Episode 1.3, 4.1 and Eye Strain were Pteranodons. However, the pterosaur from Eye Strain had teeth, while Pteranodon had a toothless beak, and its literally means winged toothless in Greek.
  • Pteranodon in Eye Strain closely resembles its design in Jurassic Park III.
  • The New World Pteranodon has a different visual style than the one from the original show, suggesting that it could be a different species of Pteranodon.
  • The Pteranodon species seen in New World appears to be more aggressive than the species seen in the original Primeval show; actively engaging in a fight with a Utahraptor, keeping Trevor Molison captive in its nest and even killing Jack. This is purely exaggeration, as a fish eater would have rarely been such quick tempered. However the New World Pteranodon also had teeth which isn't accurate either.
  • Pteranodon is the only pterosaur to be identified by name in the show.
  • Paleontologist Dr. Dave Hone notably praised the design of the Pteranodon in Primeval describing it as "beautiful" and stating that it was "far better than the Jurassic Park effort".[1]

Errors

  • In Episode 1.5, Pteranodon and Anurognathus both came through the same Anomaly, but in real life, the two species lived in different time periods to one another; Anurognathus in the Jurassic, and Pteranodon in the Cretaceous. Some fans have speculated that the Pteranodon, before travelling through the golf course Anomaly, may have previously come through another Anomaly from the Cretaceous to the Jurassic, or the Anurognathus through an Anomaly from the Jurassic into the Cretaceous.
  • Pteranodon is portrayed in Primeval as being scaly, but it has been proven that most if not all pterosaurs are covered in fur-like down. The New World Pteranodon, at least, is shown to have small patches of down on its back, but still not nearly enough as it should have.
    NW1x1 Pteranodon 38

    The Pteranodon slamming its beak into the ground. (The New World)

  • The Pteranodon in New World is portrayed as having a straight beak while actual Pteranodon had beaks that curved upward.
  • The Pteranodon in Primeval: New World could also slam its beak into the ground. In real life, this would probably have broken a Pteranodon's beak.
  • Pteranodon is portrayed as being bipedal, something that pterosaurs could not have been in real life as most of their weight was centred towards the front, causing them to walk on all fours; however there has been a trackway discovered that shows that at least some large pterosaurs could walk on their hind legs (but probably not Pteranodon).
  • The Pteranodon in New World was seen hunting terrestrial prey (humans), but it is well-known Pteranodon was an animal that preyed exclusively on fish.
  • The "female" Pteranodon in New World had a male Pteranodon's crest.
  • Pteranodon was depicted in Episode 3.10 and The New World as nesting on the ground; it is unlikely that Pteranodon did this in real life, as ground nests would have been easy targets for most ground predators of Pteranodon's time, and it was more likely that Pteranodon nested up on high cliffs by the coast where it could fish rather than on the forest floor.

Notes and references

  1. Hone, Dave. Pterosaurs in Popular Culture. pterosaur.net

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