Prehistoric Flying Reptiles


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Scaphognathus "tub jaw", was a pterosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic Period, in what is know today as Germany. It had large, protruding teeth typical of long-tailed pterosaurs, 18 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw. It had short wings, its tail ended in a diamon-shaped vane, another feature common in early peterosaurs, which would have assisted to improve its stability while flying. It is believed that Scaphognathus may have possessed a larger brain than other reptiles. The areas of the brain related to sight and movement were particularly well developed.

The first known Scaphognathus specimen was described by August Goldfuss, in 1831. This specimen belonged to an incomplete adult with a three foot wingspan. Another specimen would be found, it belonged to a juvenile, that measured half the size than its predecessor, about 20 inches wingspan.

Pterodactylus crassirostris (Goldfuss 1830)
Pachyrhamphus crassirostris (Fitzinger 1843
Ornithocephalus crassirostris (Wagner 1851)
Brachytrachelus crassirostris (Geibel 1852)
Rhamphorhynchus crassirostris (Wagner 1858)