The Rhamphorhynchoids-Page 1 

The earliest known Pterosaurs appeared approximately 220 million years ago during the Late Triassic. This group of primitive Pterosaurs, termed the Rhamphorhynchoids, (To hear pronunciation choose: Mac/Win) remained the only vertebrate fliers for over 65 million years and eventually diversified into a variety of forms and many niches.

The Rhamphorhynchoids are characterized by their large skulls which make up over 50% of the overall body size. The skull rests on a short neck consisting always of seven vertebrae.The skull contains numerous openings, but located between the eye sockets, and nostril was a separate third opening. This third opening may have helped in reducing the weight of the large skull. The jaws of Rhamphorhynchoids always contain teeth, ranging in number from ten to twenty. The shape of the teeth varies from type to type indicating different diets and feeding habits.



© Patrick Lyons 1998.