Campylognathoides is of an extinct pterosaur genus of the family Campylognathoididae that consists of three species. C. indicus was discovered in Germany's Württemberg Lias deposits and is known to have existed in the Toarcian stage. The first Pterodactylus specimen discovered in 1858 only comprised fragments of wings. Better Pterodactylus specimens were discovered in the Holzmaden shale in southern Germany. The term Campylognathoides means curved jaw or bent jaw.
The species of this genus are Campylognathoides zitteli (Plieninger, 1894), Campylognathoides liasicus (originally Pterodactylus liasicus) described by Quenstedt in 1858, and Campylognathoides indicus. The Campylognathoides indicus species was described on the basis of a jaw specimen recovered from India's Chanda district. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History at Pittsburgh has a large pterosaur skeleton specimen found close to Holzmaden.
This pterosaur (C. indicus) lived near the sea and shared its environment with another early Jurassic pterosaur, Dorygnathus banthenis (Theodori 1830). These species are assumed to have hunted on land, feeding on the wing upon large insects, small vertebrates, and fish that washed up on the shore. Keep reading to learn more about the Campylognathoides species history, appearance, wild habitat, classification, and more!
If you enjoy reading our Campylognathoides interesting facts, you must check out our roar-some Thalassodromeus surprising facts and Talenkauen interesting facts!
Campylognathoides is pronounced 'cam-py-log-nath-oy-des'.
This is a species of pterosaur of the family Campylognathoididae. C. indicus were flying reptiles, cousins of dinosaurs. Studies suggest that Campylognathoides was possibly related to the genus Eudimorphodon as it is similar in sternum, skull, and humerus.
The Early Jurassic pterosaur Campylognathoides existed in the Jurassic's early Toarcian stage about more than 180 million years ago!
It is not known when the early Jurassic pterosaur Campylognathoides went extinct. However, we do know that this specimen was discovered in 1858 in the Posidonia Shale of Germany, in the state of Baden-Wurttemburg.
The fossil remains of this genus specimen, described by Quenstedt in 1858, were excavated from Germany. It is believed to have lived across Europe. Campylognathoides indicus specimens were found in India, so this species may have migrated to India.
It has big eye sockets located low on the skull, indicating that it may have had an acute vision and possibly lived a nocturnal lifestyle. It lived near the sea and probably was a piscivore. However, it is also assumed that it fed on small animals on land and only fed on fish that washed up on the shore with the tide.
It is assumed to have lived near the sea along with another early Jurassic pterosaur, Dorygnathus banthenis (Theodori 1830).
The lifespan of these reptiles is not yet evaluated. However, we do know that the lifespan of large sauropods ranged between 70-80 years.
We do not know much about the reproduction of these wild reptiles. The specimen of Campylognathoides liasicus is preserved quite poorly, and the Campylognathoides zitteli's juvenile stages aren't known, unlike Rhamphorhynchus pterosaurs which are well known.
Campylognathoides possessed strong teeth that could deliver a powerful bite. The wingspan varied largely between the species, with Campylognathoides zitteli possessing a wingspan of 9 ft (1.8 m) and Campylognathoides liasicus possessing less than half that at 0.3 ft (0.9 m). It had a short snout with a slender point that curved upwards. It possessed an elongated skull and large eye sockets placed low on its skull. The skull had a flat and high back. Its upper jaw had four teeth that were widely spaced with the fourth pair being the largest and 10 smaller teeth at the back. The lower jaw held 12-19 teeth. It had small feet and short legs. It had an exceptionally short fifth toe which was uncommon for a basal pterosaur. The fourth digit was exceptionally long.
It isn't known how many bones these basal pterosaurs with wings possessed.
It is not known how these reptiles communicated. However, it is assumed that they communicated through visual displays.
The wingspan of the Campylognathoides ranged between 3-5.9 ft (0.9-1.8 m).
These animals had long wing fingers, a long fourth digit, and robust forelimbs that are assumed to have led to a high-speed aerial lifestyle, like those of mastiff bats and falcons. It was an agile flyer with big wings.
The weight of the species of Campylognathoides is not yet known.
The suffix of the term dinosaur is saurus for males and saura for females.
The baby of species of this genus can be referred to as a hatchling or juvenile.
It is known to be a piscivorous specimen, like other basal pterosaurs, feeding upon small fish. However, as it had short teeth that could deliver a powerful bite, it must have fed upon terrestrial small-sized vertebrates and large insects. It is assumed that it possibly hunted on land and fed upon fish that washed up on the shore, as well as feeding on the wing.
These animals are assumed to be quite aggressive and powerful given their size and body structure.
Campylognathoides zitteli was once referred to as the Pterodactylus liasicus!
The oldest pterosaur existed 220 million years ago during the Triassic period and the last pterosaur ceased to exist 65 million years ago at the Cretaceous period's end.
The first discovery of the fossils of the wings of Campylognathoides specimens was in Germany, and a better specimen was discovered in 1897 and donated to the Pittsburgh Museum of Natural History in 1903!
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History at Pittsburgh acquired a large pterosaur skeleton specimen found close to Holzmaden.
The species Pterodactylus liasicus was named after Lias, the earliest period of Jurassic!
The classifications of species of this genus are Campylognathoides zitteli (Plieninger, 1894), Campylognathoides liasicus (originally Pterodactylus liasicus) described by Quenstedt in 1858, and Campylognathoides indicus. The Campylognathoides indicus species was described on the basis of a jaw specimen recovered from India's Chanda district.
Campylognathoides means curved jaw named after the form of the bent, curved lower jaw shape. It was initially named Campylognathusin 1894. Embrik Strand realized in 1928 that this name, Campylognathus, was already in use for an insect. Thus, this genus was renamed Campylognathoides. This name originates from the Greek word 'kampylos' which means bent, and 'gnathos' which means jaw due to the jaw of Campylognathus zitteli.
The Campylognathoides species had a flexible tail base with short vertebrae. The form of the tail also functioned as a rudder. The caudal vertebrae of their tail were bound firmly by their tendons and were used to help in steering when in flight, similar to the rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs.
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Second image by Mark P. Witton.