EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.
(Already a member? Click here.)
Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.
Dimorphodon (meaning "two-form tooth") was a pterosaur with a 4 feet (1.2 m) long wingspan. It was not a dinosaur, but type of extinct, flying reptile. It had a huge head with deep, wide, toothed jaws resembling the beak of the modern-day puffin, a short neck, and a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end of the long, pointed tail. Its disproportionately large head may have been for courtship rituals.
Unlike most other pterosaurs, Dimorphodon's legs sprawled out at the sides. making its walking gait clumsy. This might indicate that Dimorphodon spent much of its non-flying time hanging from cliffs or tree braches, holding on with its toe claws.
WHEN DIMORPHODON LIVED
Dimorphodon lived during the early Jurassic period.
Dimorphodon was a carnivore and probably ate fish.
Dimorphodon flew well using large, light-weight wings. Its long, thin tail with a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end helped stabilize it in flight.
Dimorphodon was a pterosaur, a flying reptile closely related to the dinosaurs. By definition, all dinosaurs were diapsid reptiles with an upright stance. Pterosaurs probably had a semi-upright stance, and were not dinosaurs. There is a small minority of paleontologists who think that the pterosaurs' stance could have been upright and that pterosaurs should therefore be included in the clade of dinosaurs (being derived theropods). Either way, dinosaurs and pterosaurs are certainly closely related.
Dimorphodon was a:
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
- Diapsid - these include all the reptiles (except turtles) and birds. They are distinguished by having two holes in the rear upper part of their skulls and two holes behind the eyes.
- Archosaur - this group includes dinosaurs, crocodilians, pterosaurs, birds, etc.
- Pterosaur - flying reptiles.
- Rhamphorhynchoid ("prow beaks") - early pterosaurs that appeared during the Triassic period and went extinct at the end of the Jurassic, that had long tails, short necks, and long, narrow wings. These were the first flying vertebrates and probably flapped their wings to fly. They include: Eudimorphodon, Dimorphodon, Rhamphorhynchus, Scaphognathus, Sordes, and Anurognathus.
Dimorphodon fossils have been found in England. It was named by paleontologist R. Owen in 1859.
A first-grade level Pterosaur addition activity print-out.
Pterosaurs from the UCMP, Berkeley.
|Information Sheets About Dinosaurs |
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the dinosaur you're interested in isn't here, check the Dinosaur Dictionary or the list of Dinosaur Genera. Names with an asterisk (*) were not dinosaurs.
How to write a great dinosaur report.
For dinosaur printouts, click here.
For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below
Enchanted Learning Search
Search the Enchanted Learning website for:
EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page