Order - Pterosauria
Family - Rhamphorhynchidae
Genus – Rhamphorhynchus (“Beaked Snout”)
Scientists believe Rhamphorhynchus could fly from an early age. Its diet consisted of fish and other marine creatures, leading to the belief that it hunted from the air and dove into the water to catch its prey. However, there is some evidence that its hunting habits may have included swimming in addition to flying.
Rhamphorhynchus was fairly slender and lightly built, measuring around four feet long (including its long tail) with a wingspan of just under six feet. It had a pointed snout with many large sharp teeth that protruded from the jaw at an angle.
Like other pterosaurs, its pinky fingers were elongated, and each supported a membrane of skin that served as a wing, allowing Rhamphorhynchus to fly. Its tail was long and thin, with a diamond or triangle shaped “vane” structure on the end of it.
The first fossils of Rhamphorhynchus were found by a collector named Georg Graf zu Munster in 1825 and brought to a paleontologist named Samuel Thomas von Sommerring. It was first thought to be a prehistoric bird before being properly classified as a pterosaur. Originally named a species of Pterodactylus, it would be renamed as Rhamphorhynchus by paleontologist Richard Owen in 1861.