The pterodactyl is a giant prehistoric pterosaur, possibly being a Pteranodon.
In "Land Before Swine," the pterodactyl, having escaped from a prison of tree sap, rips off the roof of a police car and flies away by the moon. The next day, it grabs and flies off with Waddles. The Pines family, Soos, and Old Man McGucket go after it. In the end, it was trapped with the other dinosaurs in the abandoned mines.
As reported in an article by Toby Determined, the pterodactyl has snatched sheep in the past. Also, it's implied the pterodactyl had abducted several local miners. Further evidence of human bones belonging to miners in the caves and in the pterodactyl nest suggest they were killed and eaten.
The pterodactyl has a large wingspan. It has two lizard-like eyes, a pointy skull, and a long beak with two sets of sharp teeth. It also has a short tail and sharp talons. A baby pterodactyl, which hatches from an egg in a nest, looks like a smaller version of the adult.
The pterodactyl shows its strength when it lifts Stan and Waddles on its back easily, carrying them into the air. It is able to rip a car roof off easily and take direct punches to the eye without its flying being affected. It is incapable of viewing objects which are directly front of it. Its stamina shows in its ability to fly or run on land for long time without showing exhaustion.
- Intro: "Gravity Falls Main Title Theme"
- 118. "Land Before Swine"
- 218. "Weirdmageddon Part 1"
- It was animated by James Baxter, who also worked on the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and was a guest star in an episode of Adventure Time dedicated to him: "James Baxter the Horse."
- There is also a fake pterosaur in the Mystery Shack.
- The characters consider the pterodactyl as a species of "dinosaur" despite the fact that pterosaurs are not dinosaurs at all (though closely related), they are flying reptiles. Stanford Pines correctly calls it a pterosaur in Gravity Falls: Journal 3.
- Despite the creature being called a "pterodactyl," "Pteranodon" is the correct term. "Pterodactyl" is an informal term the public uses to describe Pterosaurs.
- Even though it closely resembles a Pteranodon, it has a few features that the real one didn't have, such as teeth, grasping feet like an eagle, and a disproportionately large egg similar to a kiwi's.
- It should be noted "pterodactyl" can also be a term for any member of the Pterodactyloidea suborder of pterosaurs. Since the creature shares similar traits with pterodactyloids namely the short tail, calling it a "pterodactyl" would technically be accurate.
- Though the Pterodactyl was called a dinosaur in some scenes of "The Land Before Swine", pterosaurs were not actually dinosaurs, however, they were closely related to them.
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