Caviramus (hollow branch) is a genus that consists of extinct cavriamid pterosaurs that existed during the Late Norian to Early Rhaetian age of the Late/Upper Triassic, 201-212 million years ago. It was named so in 2006 by Jörg Fröbisch and Nadia Fröbisch. It belongs to the class Reptilia, order Pterosauria, group Caviramidae, as well as the family Eudimorphodontidae. It consists of only one species, C. schesaplanensis. Its range was limited and its fossil remains have only been discovered from the lower Kössen Formation of the Northern Calcareous Alps of Switzerland. Currently, no complete specimen of this pterosaur has been discovered, and it is only known from two specimens, one of which comprises a partial Caviramus skull along with postcranial remains. It is estimated from these fragments that this animal had a wingspan of about 4.4 ft (135 cm).
All we know about the appearance of the Caviramus is based upon the fossil remains of its two teeth as well as a ramus (a portion of the lower jaw). However, another pterosaur, Raeticodactylus, was discovered in 2009 from the same area and is quite identical to the Caviramus specimen. Raeticodactylus became a junior synonym to Caviramus as it was named in 2008. It had a varying dentition and possessed fang-like teeth present at its mouth's front. The teeth present at the back of the lower jaw were multicusped, similar to those of Triassic pterosaurs named Eudimorphodon. It has been discovered that it had a bony crest present on the top of its head. This unusual-looking pterosaur was a piscivore and is believed to have hunted fish. Read on to discover many more Caviramus facts related to its teeth, wings, fossils, age, anatomy, and more!
This Late Triassic period animal, C. schesaplanensis, was a pterosaur and was not a dinosaur. It was a flying reptile that is currently placed in the class Reptilia.
Caviramus can be pronounced as 'Cav-e-ra-mus'!
Caviramus is a genus that consists of a single species of caviramid pterosaur, namely species C. schesaplanensis. This animal belongs to the class Reptilia, order Pterosauria, group Caviramidae, as well as the family Eudimorphodontidae. It is a member of the group that also comprises Eudimorphodonm another early pterosaur from the Late Triassic. Caviramus along with a few others, together comprise the family Eudimorphodontidae, which mostly consists of terrestrial, long-winged, small-sized pterosaurs. The order Pterosauria, to which it belongs, also consists of other European animals such as Eudimorphodon, Carniadactylus, Austriadactylus, as well as Campylognathoides. Raeticodactylus is another pterosaur discovered from the same region and is considered to be quite identical to the Caviramus specimen. Thus, Raeticodactylus is believed to be its junior synonym.
The fossil remains of the pterosaurs of this genus were discovered from the Kössen Formation of Switzerland and date back to the Norian to Rhaetian stage of the late/upper Triassic, 212 to 201 million years ago.
It is believed that this pterosaur became extinct 201 million years ago!
This pterosaur inhabited the northern Calcareous Alps of present-day Switzerland and is believed to have been endemic to Switzerland as its fossils remains have been discovered only from the Kössen Formation of Switzerland only. It is believed that it had a limited range.
These upper Triassic pterosaurs are believed to have lived in a marine environment, more specifically a lagoonal environment. However, it is also assumed they were terrestrial foragers. Thus, it is speculated that they preferred to dwell in terrestrial habitats that facilitated their dietary needs. Not much information is available about the climate conditions.
This animal dwelled during the Norian to Rhaetian of the late Triassic period. Animals such as Plateosaurus, Chindesaurus, Bikanasaurus co-existed on Earth during this period.
The lifespan of this Late Triassic animal has not yet been evaluated by paleontologists.
These late Triassic pterosaurs reproduced by laying eggs.
All we know about the pterosaur Caviramus is from the incomplete skeleton discovered in 2006. The fossil remains preserved consist of two teeth as well as a ramus (a portion of the lower jaw). It is not properly known as there is no complete specimen yet discovered. Its appearance is based on its teeth and its lower jaw. It is known that it possessed fang-like sharp teeth at its mouth's front that were utilized to capture prey. The teeth present at the back were multicusped, possessing three to five cusps. These teeth are quite identical to those of Eudimorphodon, another Triassic pterosaur. It has also been discovered that there was a bony crest present on its head. It is estimated that it had a wingspan of about 4.4 ft (135 cm). It is believed to be quite identical to Raeticodactylus filisurensis.
It is not known how many bones these pterosaurs possessed as preserved fossils consist of teeth as well as a ramus (part of the side of the lower jaw). Another specimen discovered comprised of a partial Caviramus skull along with postcranial remains, however, this specimen is named Raeticodactylus filisurensis. Raeticodactylus was examined and found to have been very similar to the Caviramus specimen discovered earlier.
The way these late Triassic pterosaurs communicated has not yet been evaluated by researchers. However, we do know that most pterosaurs communicated with each other through visual displays. It can be assumed that Caviramus also communicated through its bony crest.
It has been estimated by paleontologists that the pterosaur Caviramus possessed a wingspan of about 4.4 ft (135 cm).
The exact speed of the group of these pterosaurs is not known. However, it has been estimated that they were actively mobile.
The weight of this late Triassic pterosaur has not yet been evaluated by researchers.
There are no specific names for the males and females of this genus.
The baby of pterosaurs of this genus can be referred to as a hatchling or juvenile.
This pterosaur was Piscivorous. It is speculated that the Caviramus ate fish and did not prey upon insects. It has also been speculated that due to its dentition, it may have been a herbivore and a foraged on land.
These late Triassic animals are believed to be not so aggressive as they did not prey upon dinosaurs or animals. However, it can be assumed that their bite could have caused significant damage as they possessed fang-like sharp teeth.
These animals took flight by jumping into the air!
Nemicolopterus crypticus is believed to be the smallest pterosaur to ever exist on Earth!
Quetzalcoatlus northropi is the most renowned and largest of all azhdarchids and was named after a Mesoamerican deity. It has been estimated that it could attain a lightning speed of 67 mph (107.8 kph) and cruise at a speed of 56 mph (90.1 kph)!
It has been speculated by scientists that pterosaurs might have moved on land either by running and hopping on their two feet (like birds) or by hanging upside down (similar to sloths). However, recent fossils discovered of tracks suggest that pterosaurs walked with the help of their hindlibs and forelimbs while their wings remained folded like umbrellas!
New research has revealed that pterosaurs were actually fluffy, which means they were probably warm-blooded, like bats and birds.
There are more than 120 species of pterosaurs!
Caviramus was named in 2006 by Jörg Fröbisch as well as Nadia Fröbisch. Its name originated from the Latin term 'cavus' that translated to hollow, as well as the term 'ramus' that translates to branch. The name means hollow branch overall. The specific name of Caviramus schesaplanensis was kept in reference to Mount Schesaplana.
There is only one recognized species of the Caviramus, the C. schesaplanensis.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Tupandactylus fun facts, or Gargoyleosaurus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Caviramus coloring pages.
Both images are by DinoTeam.
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