Quetzalcoatlus northropi

May he rest in peace

Elizabeth B. T2

Quetzalcoatlus northropi

Lived 80 - 65 million years ago

during the Cretaceous period, Mesozoic Era

Quetzalcoatlus northropi was the largest known flying reptile to have ever lived. Named for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the “feathered serpent”. This deity was a creator god and played a role in the creation of mankind. Q. northropi died in the last mass extinction 65 million years ago. While his species survived for 25 million years, he just couldn’t take the changes that occurred after the impact in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Q. northropi’s species lived from 80 - 65 million years ago, flying over North America as the largest flying animal ever to exist.


Q. northropi was found in Big Bend National Park, Texas in 1972. He belonged to a group of flying reptiles called the pterosaurs. While pterosaurs were found all over the world, Q. northropi has only been found in Texas. He had a wingspan of 30 feet, which is larger than some small jets today. Even though he was an enormous reptile, his bones were hollow so he would have been able to glide in the air. We don’t know how old he was when he died, but Q. northropi lived his life near a large river scavenging and perhap hunting for small lizards and mammals near the shore line.


Q. northropi 's family of flying reptiles had a role in The Lost World, by Arthur Conan Doyle. They were discovered over 200 years ago and where the first flying vertebrate.


Q. northropi is easily identifiable by his large size and wingspan. He also have a large crest on his head, a sharp pointed beak, and a large brain with well developed eyes. Fossilized prints show that he may have even been able to walk on all fours using the claws on the ends of his wings. Imagine that sight as you are kayaking down the Rio Grande!

Tribute to Quetzalcoatlus - video from Discovery

Tribute to Quetzalcoatlus

Some features of Q. northropi

Works Cited

"10 Facts About Quetzalcoatlus." About.com Dinosaurs. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/otherprehistoriclife/a/Quetzalcoatlus-Facts.htm.

"Introduction to the Pterosauria." Pterosauria. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/pterosauria.html.

"Mass Extinctions." National Geographic. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction/.

"Quetzalcoatlus." About.com Dinosaurs. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/aviandinosaurs3/p/quetzalcoatlus.htm.

"Quetzalcoatlus Northropi." Quetzalcoatlus Northropi. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://carnivoraforum.com/topic/9331095/1/.

"Tribute to Quetzalcoatlus." YouTube. YouTube, 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTPyq8d8IeI.

United States. National Park Service. "Quetzalcoatlus Northropi." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/pterosaur.htm.