Rhamphorhynchus Skull Plaque
Rhamphorhynchus. Skull. Plaque. Rhamphorhynchus longiceps. From a Pterasaur of Jurassic Solnhofen Germany. Sutures and teeth in accurate detail. 6.5 inches long x 4 inches wide x 2.7 inches high. Rhamphorhynchus was an early pterosaur. It belonged to a group called the rhamphorhynchoids. They were small in size and had long narrow wings made from skin stretched over a long fourth finger of the hand. These animals also could have had a throat pouch for storage. Rhamphorhynchus (which means "beak snout") was an early pterosaur, an extinct flying reptile closely related to dinosaurs. It belonged to a group called the rhamphorhynchoids. Rhamphorhynchus, a primitive type of flying reptile, was less specialized than the later pterodactyls. This primitive pterosaurus was a carnivore, that probably ate fish and insects. It may have hunted by draping its beak in the water. It would snap its sharp teeth shut and toss the food into its throat pouch. This throat pouch, a structure, that has been preserved in some fossils, could have been used for storage. Rhamphorhynchus was small in size and had long, narrow wings made from skin stretched over a long, fourth finger of the hand. It had long, thin pointed tail (4 inch/20 cm), which ended in a diamond-shaped flap of skin. It may have been used as a rudder to direct himself when flying. Rhamphorhynchus had long, narrow jaws with large spiked teeth that pointed outwards. Its small body with a long neck and tiny legs was supported by a relatively large head. Rhamphorhynchoids were among the first flying vertebrates and probably flapped their wings to fly. Pterosaurs probably had semi-upright stance. Rhamphorhynchus is known from well preserved fossils. They are often found near ancient seaheads and it is believed, they might have been ancient sea birds like the seagulls todays.
TIME - 150MYA, Late Jurassic period.
RANGE - Germany Solnhofen limestone, Africa, Tanzania.
SIZE - Reached seagull size, 7in. to 1.5ft, with a wingspan of up to 2 to 2.5ft.
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