Pterosaur scaphognathus fossil

Not dinosaurs. Not birds. Just amazing. Journey through the Mesozoic with the largest flying animals that ever lived.

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. The largest exhibition about these flying reptiles ever mounted in the United States, Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs draws on incredible fossil discoveries to reveal surprising clues about the first and largest vertebrates to evolve powered flight. The exhibition is presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Neither birds nor dinosaurs, pterosaurs were flying reptiles that flourished for more than 150 million years. Step back in time and learn about the diversity of pterosaurs, their unique wing-finger anatomy, and impressive capabilities for flight and locomotion.

This exhibition highlights the latest research by museum scientists and leading paleontologists around the world. A combination of life-size models and exciting interactives bring these ancient animals to life. Discover what helped paleontologists learn about these amazing animals, use your body to pilot a pterosaur over a prehistoric landscape in a virtual flight lab, and encounter spectacular life-size models of pterosaurs, including giants such as Quetzalcoatlus northropi.

Fly like a pterosaur exhibit.

Several interactive exhibits will help you see the world from a pterosaur’s-eye view. In Fly Like a Pterosaur, you’ll “pilot” two species of flying pterosaurs over prehistoric landscapes complete with forest, sea and volcano in a whole-body interactive exhibit that uses motion-sensing technology. For a different perspective on flight, get ready to experiment with the principles of pterosaur aerodynamics in an interactive virtual wind tunnel that responds to the movements of your hands.

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs will be on view from Saturday, May, 15, 2021 through Monday, September 6, 2021 inside the Hsiao Family Special Exhibition Gallery on the first floor of the museum. Admission to Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is included with all museum admission tickets.

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs is presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The exhibition is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (

Photos © AMNH/R. Mickens/D. Finnin/C. Chesek

Did You Know?

True Flight

Pterosaurs, birds, and bats are the only vertebrates that evolved to truly fly — that is, to use their muscles to travel through the air. Arm and hand bones support their wings.


Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs
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