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A new show on pterosaurs is coming to AMNH on April 5

"Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" will spotlight the almost mythical flying reptiles (and dinosaur cousins!) that roamed the skies starting about 220 million years ago.

Preondactylus buffarinii, one of the oldest known pterosaurs, from "Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" at AMNH.

Preondactylus buffarinii, one of the oldest known pterosaurs, from "Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" at AMNH. Courtesy American Museum of Natural History


By virtue of dinosaurs' size, diversity and the fact that they disappeared from the planet such a long time ago, there's hardly a child who isn't fascinated by the prehistoric creatures, which is why "Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs," the show opening at the American Museum of Natural History on April 5, has us so excited. No, this exhibition isn't even about dinosaurs, but rather their fascinating flying relatives, the pterosaurs, who if anything are even more enchanting than their earth-bound contemporaries.

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Young visitors will learn that these almost mythical creatures, who came into being about 220 million years ago, were a super-diverse bunch, ranging in size from that of a sparrow to the enormity of Tropeognathus mesembrinus, a pterosaur with an astonishing wingspan of 25 feet. (A scale model of the latter will hover above the entrance to the exhibition space.) They'll also discover the similarities between pterosaurs and other flying vertebrates, such as birds and bats, in an interactive area that looks at the evoution and aerodynamics of flight. Kids will even have a chance to "fly" a pterosaur, for a firsthand look at what life in prehistoric times was like from the sky. As this is the AMNH, there will be rare fossils, as well as replicas and casts of fossils, on view to let paleontoligist-in-training in on how scientists know as much as they do about these amazing animals.

"Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" will be on view at the American Museum of Natural History from April 5 through January 5, 2015.


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