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Still, this is more fossil material than is known for any other pterosaur, and it includes both male and female specimens of various age groups and, possibly, species.

Unlike earlier pterosaurs such as Rhamphorhynchus and Pterodactylus, Pteranodon had toothless beaks, similar to those of birds.

Pteranodon beaks were made of solid, bony margins that projected from the base of the jaws.

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 smaller class of specimens have small, rounded head crests and very wide pelvic canals, even wider than those of the much larger size class.

The size of the pelvic canal probably allowed the laying of eggs, indicating that these smaller adults are females.

This is based on the fact that Pteranodon had a high aspect ratio (wingspan to chord length) similar to that of the albatross — 9:1 for Pteranodon, compared to 8:1 for an albatross.

Albatrosses spend long stretches of time at sea fishing, and use a flight pattern called "dynamic soaring" which exploits the vertical gradient of wind speed near the ocean surface to travel long distances without flapping, and without the aid of thermals (which do not occur over the open ocean the same way they do over land).

The largest specimen of Pteranodon longiceps from the Niobrara Formation measured 6.25 metres (20.5 ft) from wingtip to wingtip.

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