Pterosaur-ing in the ancient skies
Pterosaurs, meaning 'winged lizards', are not dinosaurs, but flying "reptiles". They were one of the first vertebrates to take to the skies during the Triassic, and went extinct about 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous, together with the dinosaurs. Long before birds ruled the air, pterosaurs hunted for insects in forests and swooped for fish over the seas. Contemporaries of the dinosaurs, pterosaurs ranged from pigeon-sized flyers to giants with wingspans rivalling a small aircraft. Similar to birds, pterosaurs had an efficient air-sac respiratory system, which made powered flight possible. Some are even known to have hair-like fibres covering their bodies. Pterosaurs were apparently not totally helpless on land as ichnological evidence, like trackways (fossilised footprints), revealed that they could probably walk on all four limbs.