The reconstruction of the Quetzalcoatlus in the Senckenberg Nature Museum in Frankfurt is based on original specimens that are located in the collection of the University of Texas in Austin/USA. Only a number of neck vertebrae, a remnant of a leg bone, skull fragments and an almost complete flight arm have been preserved as fossils. This may not sound like much at first, but together with additional skeletal fragments from juvenile animals it is possible to reconstruct a rather exact representation of the anatomy of this flying dinosaur’s skeleton. The unpronounceable genus name is derived from the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl – the “Feathered Snake.” The species name “northropi” was assigned in honor of the ingenious airplane engineer John K. Northrop.


  • Title: Giant pterosaur
  • Location: Texas, USA
  • Type: cast
  • Rights: Sven Tränkner Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
  • size: 12 m
  • scientific name: Quetzalcoatlus northropi
  • geological Age: Late Cretaceous
  • age: 70 mil. years

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