Category: Dinosaur

Anhanguera, which means Old Devil, was a pterosaur that lived in the Early Cretaceous of South America and Europe. Anhanguera (= Ornithocheirus) was an ornithocherid highly adapted for marine life. The bones were hollow and part of an advanced lung system similar to that of birds (Witton, 2013).



Genera and Species

Classification: pterosauria ornithocheiroidea Anhangueridae

Species: A. blittersdorffi, A. santanae, A. piscator

Senior synonyms: Araripesaurus, Tropeognathus robustus, Coloborhynchus or Cearadactylus.


Anhanguera was a large pterosaur, distinguished by a jaw crest as well as another crest at the back of the skull. The forward teeth were designed to grab fish. The trunk was long, proportionally, and the arms were about five times the length of the back legs. The body and head were covered with pterosaur fuzz that provided insulation and is considered to be evidence that pterosaurs were warm blooded. Ornithocherids were distinguished by their savage forward teeth designed to capture fish. The extensive hollow bones did not make the body fragile, but allowed for a bird-style breathing system.


WING LENGTH: 4.5 m (15 ft).

WEIGHT: 40 – 50 lbs.


It was a dip-feeding pterosaur, catching fish near the surface. Pterosaurs landed by stalling in the air and dropping to four legs. Track ways seem to show pterosaurs using their muscular limbs to hop into the air to take off.

History of Discovery

Discovery by Campos & Kellner, in 1985.


Found in South America Brazil in and Europe England in marine environments (Dixon, 2006).


  1. Witton, M. (2013). Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy. Princeton New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  2. Dixon, D. (2006). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs. London UK: Hermes House.
  3. Knol, R. (2005, May 5). Santana Formation. Retrieved May 20, 2014