One of these things is not like the others. At first glance, this looks like a group of dinosaurs. There’s a massive Tyrannosaurus rex on the left and a three-horned Triceratops on the right—some of the most well-known dinos. However, towering at the back of this group is a creature that lived among the dinosaurs, but wasn’t one: Quetzalcoatlus.

Quetzalcoatlus was a pterosaur, a flying reptile that lived millions of years ago. (You might hear this group called “pterodactyls,” but that’s an outdated term.) Pterosaurs aren’t dinosaurs—they were distant relatives. Why aren’t pterosaurs considered dinosaurs? The distinctions might seem small to non-paleontologists—little features on pterosaurs’ thighbones, shoulder blades, hips, and backbones set them apart from dinos!

 

Illustration by Durbed