• Nyctosaurus gracilis


    Found exclusively in the late Cretaceous deposits of the Western Interior Seaway of North America, Nyctosaurus was a relatively small piscivorous pterosaur and a rare find. Much less abundant than Pteranodon and less than half its size, Nyctosaurus is known to have a large, thin, forked crest or no crest at all, probably a sexually dimorphic difference. It had only 3 wing phalanges, unlike Pteranodon and most other pterosaurs and had a uniquely-shaped deltopectoral crest on the humerus.

    Nyctosaurus, like its relative Pteranodon, appears to have grown very rapidly after hatching. Fully adult specimens are no larger than some immature specimens, indicating that Nyctosaurus went from hatching to adult size (with wingspans of 2 m or more) in under a year. Some sub-adult specimens have been preserved with their skulls in nearly pristine condition, and lack any trace of a head crest, indicating that the distinctively large crest only began to develop after the first year of life. The crest may have continued to grow more elaborate as the animal aged, though no studies have examined the age of the fully adult, large-crested specimens.

    Specimen can be custom mounted in flying or standing position. Anticipate 6 weeks for custom mount

    FORMATION: Smokey Hill Chalk of the Niobrara

    LOCALITY: Kansas

    WINGSPAN: 7 feet 7 inches (2.3 m)