Drawing of pterosaurs by English naturalist Wi...

Drawing of a flock of pterosaurs by English naturalist William Buckland (1784-1856) in 1831.

This morning at approximately 7:32 a.m., we discovered a question about dinosaurs and other ancient beasties that The Four-Year-Old both doesn’t know the answer to and doesn’t much care about.

While steeping her second cup of tea, Mommyo wondered (out loud, because her conversational filters weren’t yet online), “What do you call a group of pterosaurs, anyway?”

Daddyo, who had downed his second cup of coffee some time before so had both synapses and conversational filters fully functional, replied, “Aren’t they called herds?”

Mommyo: “Sauropods are, but what about pterosaurs? Wouldn’t they be called flocks, like birds?”

Daddyo: “Or a wing. A wing of pterodactyls.”

Mommyo: “Ooh, that’s nice. What do you think, <The Four-Year-Old>?”

The Four-Year-Old just shrugs.

Daddyo, stunned: “Don’t you know?”

The Four-Year-Old shakes her head.

Daddyo: “Don’t you want to know?”

The Four-Year-Old: “Can I have more bacon?”

Mommyo, sniffing her oversteeped tea and wondering whether she should have gone for coffee instead:  “Well, I was going to put it on Caterpickles, but I guess it’s not really that interesting.”

The Four-Year-Old, placing her hand very gently on her mother’s shoulder: “It’s ok, Mommyo, you can ask Caterpickles… if you really want to.”

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Daughter Says, Linguistics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. tirane93 says:

    phlock? ptribe? real scary?


  2. Paul says:

    Kno phair!

    Probably called a Smith of Pterosaurs. (Looks like `Smith’ but really pronounced . . .)



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