Guided Time Travel Tour: Evolution of Pterosaur Flight

Image of Painting of Pteranodon Sternbergi by Mark Witton

Pteranodon Sternbergi by Mark Witton

Chronobiologists Dr. Jaques DeVille and Dr. Rachel Winters are pleased to offer a guided tour through the Mesozoic Era to explore the evolution of pterosaur flight. Pterosaurs were winged reptiles which were the first vertebrates to undertake powered flight. At the time of this writing, the Pterosaurs are subdivided into the Rhamphorhynchoids and Pterodactyloids. The Rhamphorynchoids, which have long tails, teeth and mostly clung to branches and trees appeared in the Triassic and were extinct by the end of the Jurassic. The Pterodactyloids, which have longer legs, short tails, beaks, were mostly quadrupedal, and lived throughout the Cretaceous.

The tour will last two weeks and will consist of several visits:

Site 1
Species Dimorphodon Macronyx and related species
Location Jurassic Coast (Dorset-Devon, England)
Time Hettangian Period (Lower Jurassic) circa 197 MYA
Duration 3 nights
We will visit the Dimorphodons of the Jurassic coast of England circa 197 MYA from a lagoon encampment. Sandy beach provides some relaxation opportunities though swimming is unsafe and is prohibited. Seaside species will be observed along with nesting sites. An afternoon visit to an inland lake may yield two additional species.

Site 2
Species Dorygnathus and Campylognathoides species
Location European Archipelago of southern Germany
Time Toarcian Period (Lower Jurassic) circa 180 MYA
Duration 4 nights
We will cruise the European Archipegalo via SaucerShip for 4 nights. Marine species of Dorygnathus and Campylognathoides will be the focus. The trip will culminate with a visit to the pterosaur nesting sites on Grand Lias Island. We will also have some opportunities for fishing.

Site 3
Species Pteranodon Longiceps and Pteranodon Sternbergi
Location Western Interior Seaway of Kansas
Time Coniacian Period (Upper Cretaceous) circa 85 MYA
Duration 4 nights
We will cruise the Western Interior Seaway for 4 nights. The Pteranodon species Longiceps and Sternbergi will be the focus, with the possibility of the smaller pterosaur species of Nyctosaurus. The flightless bird Hesperornis as well as a number of marine reptiles, such as plesiosaurs, mosasaurs and sea turtles are likely. Fishing will not be allowed on this segment of the trip due to the hazards that marine reptiles pose.

Site 4
Species Quetzalcoatlus northropi
Location Semi-arid plains of Texas on the east coast of the Western Interior Seaway
Time Lancian Period (Upper Cretaceous) circa 68 MYA
Duration 3 nights
In addition to observing a colony of Quetzalcoatlus, we will also have the pleasure of viewing the titanic sauropod Alamosaurus, which was one of the largest dinosaur species in North America.


The figure to the right shows an approximate map of North America during the late Cretaceous (the second half of the tour).

Image of the Western Interior Seaway of North America

Western Interior Seaway of North America during the Late Cretaceous

Meals based on local foods at local times will be provided by the DeVille team. The security team consisting of five agents armed with electromagnetic stun cannons and equipped with active night vision will be provided by Mesozoic Security Inc. Human security will be augmented by six robotic ground and three robotic aerial sentry units equipped with radar. The DeVille team will provide medical support. Pink algae fever vaccinations are required for the late Cretaceous portion of the trip while standard Mesozoic vaccinations are recommended. The ozone layer is relatively dense during the time periods we will be visiting and sunscreen is unnecessary.

Local time oceanic transportation will be provided by SaucerShip both in the European Archipelago (SS Lias 180) and the Western Interior Sea (SS Chalk Sea Transport). Dimenhydrinate will be available for sea sickness.

Weaponry of any kind is expressly prohibited. Participants are required to be eco-compliant. Specifically, note that biological quarantine will be in strict effect. Level 3 skin suits are mandatory and will be provided. Pre-Tertiary Angiosperm Quarantine Laws will be strictly enforced. Remember that this means that there will be no fruit provided for the trip. In addition, no one is allowed to eat fruit within 5 days of traveling. Anyone attempting to transport seeds of any kind will be detained and turned over to the authorities.

Interested parties can email me at or contact Dr. DeVille directly via chronomail at deville@chronobiology for further details on cost, payment options and meetup locations and times.

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