Chapter

The Flying Reptiles

Richard P. Hilton

in Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233157
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928459 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233157.003.0004
The Flying Reptiles

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This chapter discusses the Mesozoic flying reptiles—the pterosaurus and the birds. Pterosaur fossils have been found in marine sedimentary rocks, floodplain deposits, and some far from the shore, showing a diversity of living habits or migrations of some species to inland areas. The remains of three pterosaurs have been found in California, two in Butte County and one from Shasta County. Birds evolved from small meat-eating dinosaurs and are the only close relatives of dinosaurs to have survived the mass extinctions at the end of the Mesozoic. Fossils of Mesozoic birds have been found in Alta and Baja California and these remains probably represent only a small fraction of the avifauna that existed in California during the Cretaceous.

Keywords: flying reptiles; pterosaurus; birds; dinosaurs; Mesozoic birds; avifauna

Chapter.  2094 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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