Rhamphoryhnchus was a pterosaur, or flying reptile, that lived in the Late Jurassic (about 150 million years ago) in what is now Europe. Although it is superficially similar in some ways to bats and birds, it is not related to either group. It is easily recognizable by its beak-like snout and long tail. The best Rhamphorhynchus fossils come from a limestone quarry in Solnhofen, Bavaria. All of the fossils from this locality are incredibly well preserved, leaving little doubt about what the animals looked like in life.
History: The first Rhamphorhychus fossil was found in 1825, and was first thought to be an ancient bird. Under closer examination, it became clear that it had teeth, similar to Pterodactylus, the first pterosaur that had just been described. A quick comparison told the scientists that the new ‘bird’ fossil was really a pterosaur, but unlike Pterodactylus, this new pterosaur had a very long tail.
Scientific Name: Rhamphorhychus, meaning ‘beak-snout’.
Characteristics: Rhamphorhynchus was a fairly large pterosaur. It had a very long snout full of long sharp teeth that were probably used to catch fish. Unlike some pterosaurs, Rhamphorhychus did not have a bony crest on its skull. It had a very long tail stiffened by ligaments. The end of the tail had a diamond-shaped vane that helped the animal steer as it flew through the air, a bit like a rudder. This Rhamphorhynchus toy features all of these distinctive traits. Although large adults had a wingspan of nearly six feet, hatchlings with wingspans of as little as one foot have also been found.
Size: This Rhamphorhynchus toy is 7 inches long with an 8 inch wingspan.
- The Rhamphorhynchus is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection
- Non-toxic and BPA free