It was an important part of the animal community in the Western Interior Seaway. By definition, all dinosaurs belong to one of the two groups within Dinosauria, i.e. Pteranodon species are extremely well represented in the fossil record, allowing for detailed descriptions of their anatomy and analysis of their life history.
Over 1,000 specimens have been identified, though less than half are complete enough to give researchers good information on the anatomy of the animal.
An even larger specimen is known from the Pierre Shale Formation, with a wingspan of 7.25 metres (23.8 ft), though this specimen may belong to the distinct genus and species Geosternbergia maysei.The unique form of the beak in this specimen led Alexander Kellner to assign it to a distinct genus, Dawndraco, in 2010.The most distinctive characteristic of Pteranodon is its cranial crest.The wingspan of an average adult male Pteranodon was 5.6 metres (18 ft).Adult females were much smaller, averaging 3.8 metres (12 ft) in wingspan.