Height: Females 5.5 feet, males 6 feet
Weight: Females 55 pounds, males 60 pounds
Wingspan: Females 20 feet, males 30 feet
Originally planned to be exhibited in Nublar’s aviary, this species wasn’t implemented onto Nublar by the time of the incident that shut the island down. However, P. longiceps “sternbergi” from Sorna have recently colonized the island.
At one time, it was believed that P. longiceps and P. sternbergi were distinct species, with the more common P. longiceps being the most common and social and the rarer P. sternbergi being the most solitary. However it has recently come to light that they are in fact one and the same species displaying sexual dimorphism.
(Note that this is FICTION - in palaeontology, Pteranodon longiceps and Geosternbergia are classified as distinct genera).
- Male: Blue-gray body with beige wings and yellow crest and beak.
- Female: Beige body and wings with a blue face and yellow crest and beak.
- Juvenile (both sexes): Almost entirely gray body, with a pale yellow beak.
Preferred Habitat: Upland areas near the coast, where it nests on cliff faces.
Diet: Consumes fish.
Social Structure: Both sexes tend to be solitary, however apart from during the breeding season they hold no quarrel with other individuals over territory and space. During the breeding season males and females gather, with the females soaring overhead and males displaying on the cliffs below. Once the mating is over the young are reared in large colonies of females, while the males return to their solitary lifestyles.
P. longiceps “sternbergi” is a large pterosaur, with a long head and a deep, toothless beak. It has a long crest that extends backwards. In females, this crest is flattened, however in males the crest is larger and wider, and projects upwards. In juveniles, the crest is small and triangular. Overall, the head is much bigger than the rest of the body, and hollow bones reduce the animal’s weight to allow for flight. The wings are leathery, and the body has a coating of downy fuzz.
P. longiceps “sternbergi” is a glider rather than a flier; its vast wings and lightweight frame means that it can use rising air currents to soar effortlessly for hours, covering long distances out to sea while hunting for food. It has excellent eyesight to spot shoals of fish swimming close to the surface of the water; swooping down to catch its prey in its beak before swallowing whole. There is a pouch on the throat region, which females use to store regurgitated fish for the young.
While graceful in the air, P. longiceps “sternbergi” is ungainly and clumsy on the land. Therefore it lands only to rest and to mate and nest; always on high cliffs where it is safer from land-dwelling predators. Unlike its "hippocratesi" contemporary, this type of Pteranodon is generally non-aggressive and prefers to fly from danger; however it is quite capable of defending itself with its sharp, pointed beak.
During the breeding season, males establish the best locations on rocky outcrops near the coast from where they call and display to the females which soar overhead. The males compete with each other with screeching and head-bobbing, showing off their elaborate crests. Beak-sparring between individuals over space is common. Generally it is the largest males with the most impressive crests which attract the most females. Once the mating is over and all the females have left, the males also leave to carry on with life as normal. They play no part in rearing the young.
During the nesting period large colonies of females congregate in large, noisy, crowded communities to lay their eggs on cliffs near the sea, often so close to each other that their wings virtually touch. However the females endure this seemingly uncomfortable practice without complaint, and aside from the occasional quarrel, they are generally respectful of each others’ space. Nesting in a community has its advantage in that it is safer than nesting alone - an individual Pteranodon nesting in plain sight is more exposed than one who is hidden amongst many others. Even so, mothers are often forced to abandon their young for long periods of time in order to hunt for food, and during that time the young are vulnerable to latecomers who wish to usurp the nesting site by killing the young in order to lay their own eggs.
For more information, see: Pteranodon (sp.) (S/F)