extinct flying reptile of the Cretaceous period, 1876 (Marsh), based on pterodactyl with the stem of Greek anodous "toothless," from an- "not, without" (see an- (1)) + odon (genitive odontos) "tooth" (from PIE root *dent- "tooth").
They are remarkable for their large size, some having a spread of wings not less than twenty-five feet. They differ widely from the Pterodactyls of the old world, especially in the absence of teeth, and hence have been placed by the writer in a new order, Pteranodontia, from the typical genus Pteranodon. [O.C. Marsh, "Principal Characters of American Pterodactyls," 1876]
updated on August 21, 2021