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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
Rhamphorhynchus was a pterosaur, an extinct flying reptile. It had a wingspan up to 5.75 feet (1.75m) wide. It had a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end of its long, thin, pointed tail. This meat-eater had long, narrow jaws with sharp teeth that pointed outwards. It had tiny legs.
Rhamphorhynchus was a carnivore (a meat-eater) and probably ate fish.
Rhamphorhynchus flew well using large, light-weight wings. Its long tail with a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end helped stabilize it in flight. Its tiny legs probably made Rhamphorhynchus a poor runner.
Rhamphorhynchus 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.
Rhamphorhynchus was a:
RHAMPHORHYNCHUS AND PTEROSAUR ACTIVITIES LINKS
A first-grade level Pterosaur addition activity print-out.
The Pterosaur Homepage, a very good site by David Peters. Also, see his page on Rhamphorhynchus.
Pterosaurs from the UCMP, Berkeley.
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.
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