Animal Type: Dietary Type: Size: Weight: Major Fossil Finds:
Rhamphorhynchus RAM-for-INK-us "Beak snout" Pterosaur Carnivore - fish and insects Up to 2 m wingspan Up to 1 m body length Up to 20 kg UK, Germany and Tanza
Evidence Rhamphorhynchus fossils have been recovered from Jurassic marine clays in southern England but the finest specimens come from the Solnhofen quarry in Bavaria, southern Germany. The fine-grained limestone of this famous quarry has yielded numerous beautifully preserved remains of Rhamphorhynchus. Many of these fossils not only preserve the bones but also show impressions of soft tissues such as the wings and tail.
Rhamphorhnchus was a primitive type of flying reptile with wings up to 1 metre long. These were made of skin stretched between an elongated finger from its hand, down to its ankle.
It had a long straight tail (20 cm) stiffened with ligaments which ended in a diamond-shaped rudder. It is believed that one of the ways Rhamphorhnchus hunted was by dragging its beak in the water . When it came into contact with prey, it would snap its needle-sharp teeth shut, and toss the food into it's throat pouch, a structure that has actually been preserved in some rare fossils.