All Pterosaurs disappeared from the skies at the end of Cretaceous, at what is termed the K-T boundary. The extinction of the Pterosaurs coincided with the demise of many other organisms, including Dinosaurs, and the marine reptiles. This page will not delve into the possible mechanisms involved in the extinction event but deal with what is known about Pterosaurs before the event. If you wish a more in depth perspective please follow: Extinction Events (another gallery in the Hooper Museum).

Throughout the Cretaceous, Pterosaurs generally evolved larger and larger forms culminating in the giant Quetzalcoatlus. Pterosaur species diversity was decreasing. Bird diversity was increasing. It's likely that Pterosaurs were under strong competitive pressures from birds and were being forced from previously dominated niches.

While becoming extinct at the K-T boundary, they had been extraordinarily successful, having dominating the skies for over 210 million years.



© Patrick Lyons 1998.