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Rhamphorhynchus
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Introduction
Rhamphorhynchus (Rhamphorhynchus muensteri) is a genus of tailed pterosaur in the Jurassic period. They were the first animal to successfully fly in the sky except insects. The evolution of pterosaurs paralleled of their terrestrial cousins, the dinosaurs which are the small species of the late Triassic period and more advanced forms in the Jurassic and Cretaceous. At the same time, there were Pteranodon Sternbergi and Mosasaur. The ancestor of Greater Short-nosed fruit bat is unknown and mysterious but Rhamphorhynchus is the most similar to fruit bat that they are quite bat-like such as Onychonycteris finneyi.


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Rhamphorhynchoidea
Family: Rhamphorhynchidae
Genus: Rhamphorhynchus
Species R. muensteri


Diagram


Rhamphorhynchus_bw.GIF
Source: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Rhamphorhynchus.shtml



Habitat
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Most of the fossils of the rhamphorynchus were found near sea which means its natural habitat was near water. Scientists believe that the rhamphorynchus located to parts of Europe and Africa. Some of the fossils have been found in southern England.

The early pterosaurs liked to summer in Western Europe. Some people find fossils in England and Germany. There have been huge populations of Asian or North American pterosaurs but they have been distinct from the ones that are recognized.
Dinosaur_Habitat.jpg


Adaptation
Behavioural 1
Giving birth
Rhamphorhynchus laid eggs instead of giving birth to its young. A pterosaur egg has been found in Liaoning which was the same place that found the fossil of the famous feathered dinosaurs. The egg was squashed flat but not cracks, so it seems the eggs had tough shells. The wing membranes of a hatchling in the egg were strangely well developed and these suggested that pterosaurs were ready to fly after birth. As the environmental factors, the egg is hard because they need to protect their baby.

Behavioural 2
Walking on the ground
There was a problem of how pterosaurs moved about on the ground as quadrupedsor as bipeds. The track ways of pterosaur are now known that there is a unique four-toed hind foot and three-toed front foot. These are the unmistakable mark of pterosaurs walking on all fours. As the environmental factors, they need somewhere to stay but trees are not big enough so they have to stay on the ground and have to know how to walk on the ground.

Structural 1
Hair
There is no fossil evidence of the pterosaurs that had feathers, but they were unique among reptiles that some of them were covered with hair. The hair of Pterosaur was not the hair of mammals. It was a unique structure and it is just have a similar appearance. The presences of hair mean that pterosaurs were endothermic. As the environmental factors, it was cold in the Jurassic period that doesn’t like now have so much global gases. Therefore they need “hair” to keep them warm.

Structural 2
Wings
Pterosaur wing were developed by the membranes of skin and other organizations. Different types of fibers to made it be strength. The pteroid is a unique bone that connected to the wrist and help to support the membrane between the wrist and shoulder. The pteroid may have been able to swing to extend the membrane although this is contentious. In the later pterosaurs, the backbone of the shoulders fused into a structure called the notarium, which helps the body rigid in flight and provide a support for the scapula. As the environmental factors, they have to prevent or escape from other animal’s attacking so they have a strength wing to let them fly away faster.

Physiological
Method of eating
Rhamphorhynchus eat fish, frogs and insects. It is believed that one of the ways it is dragging its prey through the mouth in the water, catching fish and throwing them into its throat. The structure similar to the pelican has been preserved in some fossils. This method of fishing was found today in the gull. As the environmental factors, they have to drag it first because their “food” can escape that they have to drag it faster so they can catch it and eat.

Extinction Pressure
K-T extinction event
The extinction of pterosaurs was at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 65.5 million years ago which is known as the mass extinction of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. About 50% of the plant and animal disappeared at this time including non-avian dinosaurs. When pterosaurs disappeared, their role, leading the sky, is taken by the bird vertebrates which are considered the ancestors of dinosaurs.


Bibliography

Rhamphorhynchus (pterosaur). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphorhynchus_(animal)

Rhamphorhynchus. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Rhamphorhynchus.shtml

Where is the Habitat of the rhamphorhynchus ?. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dinosaursfaq.com/Dinosaur/rhamphorhynchus/Where-Is-The-Habitat-Of-The-Rhamphorhynchus.html