Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs

R. P. Simmons Family Gallery
January 30–May 22, 2016

They flew with their fingers. They walked on their wings. Some were gigantic, while others could fit in the palm of a hand. Millions of years ago, the skies were ruled by pterosaurs, the first animals with backbones to fly under their own power. In the new exhibit Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, rare fossils, life-size models, and hands-on interactives bring these ancient animals to life.


Super Science Series: Pterosaurs Going Away Party

Say goodbye to our special pterosaur exhibition before it takes off! Super Science will host a going away party with hands on pterosaur activities and one last chance to see Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of the Dinosaurs. 

Note: To enter Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs purchase exhibition tickets at the front desk. Members enter free. 

Read about all the activities going on with the Super Science Series: Pterosaurs Going Away Party 

New! Special Weekend Programming

Every weekend through the end of the exhibition

Live Reptile Show

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, 3 p.m. 

Get acquainted with several of our live reptiles during this full length animal show! Touch, listen, ask questions and learn as we tell you more about the animals of our living collection. Run time: 30 minutes. Free with admission to Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs.

Pterosaur Gliding Range

Saturday, 11am–1 p.m.
Sunday, 1–3 p.m. 

Craft your FREE pterosaur glider, see how far you can make it glide to catch its “prey”, and take it home with you when you’re finished. Free with admission to Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs.

Advance tickets for Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs are now available.
Order yours today!

©AMNH/D. Finnin

Fly Like a Pterosaur

Visitors can “pilot” a flying pterosaur over a prehistoric landscape in a whole-body interactive exhibit that uses motion-sensing technology.

©AMNH/C. Chesek

Crest Gallery

A gallery display illustrates the incredible variety of pterosaur crests—from a dagger-shaped blade that juts from the head to a giant, sail-like extension.

What is a Pterosaur

What is a Pterosaur?

Pterosaurs were not birds or dinosaurs. They were reptiles and the first vertebrates to fly. They flew not by gliding through the air but by flapping their wings to travel. Pterosaurs ranged from as large as a plane to as small as a bird. Pterosaur bones were thin-walled and hollow. One of their most intriguing features was their head crests. Similar to a rooster’s comb, Pterosaur head crests were a prominent feature with an amazing range of shapes and sizes. They lived more than 150 million years ago in the age of dinosaurs.

©AMNH/C. Chesek

Virtual Wind Tunnel

Experiment with the principles of pterosaur aerodynamics! This interactive virtual wind tunnel will respond to the movements of your hands.

©AMNH/C. Chesek

Scaphognathus fossil cast

Scaphognathus was a pterosaur that lived in what is now Germany during the Late Jurassic about 150 million years ago. This fossil preserves an incomplete adult with a 3-foot wingspan (0.9 m) and was recovered from the Solnhofen strata near Eichstatt, Germany.


Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (

Locally, this exhibition is supported by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dollar Bank, Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, Baierl Subaru, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Bill Few Associates Wealth Management.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield  Dollar Bank PALCSBaierl SubaruDunkin' DonutsBill Few Associates