A pterodactyl was a flying reptile that lived on the planet Earth millions of years ago and coexisted with dinosaurs. They were sharp-teethed, had a distinct shriek, and were capable of stationary hovering in the air.
In 2269, an away team from the USS Enterprise were terrorized by mechanized manifestations of a group of pterodactyls on the Shore Leave Planet. They were the first indication that the planet's computer was malfunctioning and creating simulations which it was not meant to. (TAS: "Once Upon a Planet")