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Aerodactyl was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Ptera" in Japanese as well as the American beta version, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. As a result they were renamed "Aerodactyl". According to IGN, Aerodactyl's name is a combination of the two Greek words "aero", meaning air, and "dactyl", meaning finger; however, they noted that it was more likely that they combined the ancient reptile pterodactyl with aero.Aerodactyl is known as the Fossil Pokémon, is an ancient Pokémon that roamed the skies during the prehistoric age. It is resurrected from DNA found in fossilized amber. It is imagined to have been the king of the skies in ancient times, with a body structure similar to a pterodactyl and other features, such as the head and tail, having more in common with dragon. It captures its prey with its talons and brings it to its nest. However, if the prey resists, it may use its razor-sharp teeth to immobilize it. When attacking its enemies or opponents, it goes for the throat with its saw like fangs. Aerodactyl is heavy and rough-skinned, leading to the development of strong wings.
In the video games
Aerodactyl first appears in Pokémon Red and Blue and its subsequent remakes Pokémon Yellow, FireRed, andLeafGreen. Each player could only receive one Aerodactyl which is obtained by giving an item called "Old Amber" to a scientist to revive the Pokémon. It has since appeared in each subsequent main Pokémon title; in Pokémon Gold andSilver, it can be obtained through a trade with an NPC.Outside of the main series, Aerodactyl has appeared in the Pokémon Pinball titles, Pokémon Trozei!, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles, the Pokémon Ranger titles, Pokémon Rumble, and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure. InPokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire, once an egg has been hatched in the Ruby Field, Aerodactyl will fly by and replace it the next time the ball rolls into the Egg Stand.
In other media
Aerodactyl's first appearance in the anime was in Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon. It was attacking Ash, soCharmeleon evolved into a Charizard to fight it. It then appeared in the Pokémon Chronicles, where it was revived byGary Oak. Team Rocket tried to steal it and it used Hyper Beam on them. Finally, it was in the Diamond and Pearl series where it terrorized Oreburgh City after being revived from its fossil state.In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Red obtains an Aerodactyl from a resurrected piece of Old Amber which he revives. He has since then used it extensively for aerial transportation and combat, such as in a battle with Deoxys. Lance also owns an Aerodactyl that he also uses for aerial transportation and combat.
IGN listed Aerodactyl as one of the best Rock types alongside Golem and Rhydon, stating that while it's weak to Electric attacks, it has high statistics. IGN's Pokémon Chick wrote that she loves Aerodactyl due to its appearance and its high speed. She added that she "really can't think of anything bad to say about Aerodactyl". She often references Aerodactyl in other reviews of individual Pokémon species; she wrote that it was a good Pokémon for defeating whole teams with ease; her favourite Flying type Pokémon; and she wrote that he was one of the most popular Rock types to the point where at the time she refused to use other Rock types until Aerodactyl is introduced to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. She also named it one of her five favourite Pokémon. Official Nintendo Magazine's Thomas East listed Aerodactyl's name as one of the worst in the Pokémon series due to the combination of pterodactyl and aero being redundant since it is presumed that a pterodactyl can fly. 1UP.com's Michael Vreeland compared Aerodactyl to the Pokémon Archen due to its similar combination of Rock and Flying which he wrote is considered "infamous" due to "the ever-annoying Aerodactyl". GamesRadar wrote that Aerodactyl's move variety made it a "worthwhile addition" and as such it does not need an evolution. Independent.ie described Aerodactyl as a "macho" Pokémon due to its "bat wings and forked tail". Author Ash Dekirk compared it to the mythical beast wyvern and called it "incredibly rare". He added that its head was "dragonesque".