Fun Cycnorhamphus Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Oct 20, 2022 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover fun Cycnorhamphus facts about its physical description, size, history, morphology, and taxonomy!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.1 Min

Cycnorhamphus is a genus that consists of only one species of a ctenochasmatoid gallodactylid pterosaur species. Cycnorhamphus suevicus or Pterodactylus suevicus is the sole species in the Cycnorhamphus genus. This species existed approximately 152 million years ago in Germany and France during the Late Jurassic period. It is assumed to be synonymous with the genus Gallodactylus. Cycnorhamphus (meaning swan beak) was named so after the beak structure of the sole species of this genus.

The Cycnorhamphus was a pterosaur, which is a type of reptile that can fly. It wasn't a species of dinosaurs, even though it existed in the same era as them. This single Cycnorhamphus species resided in Europe in the Late Jurassic period. It was in 1855 when the first fossil of Cycnorhamphus (Pterodactylus suevicus or Gallodactylus canjuersensis) was discovered. This fossil specimen was discovered in the Kimmeridgian plate of shale (rock plate in deep soil) close to Nusplingen which is in Württemberg, Germany.

Only three specimens with different variations have been discovered by paleontologists. Harry Govier Seeley made a study of the bones and assigned this specimen to a new genus in 1870. The species of this genus had an interesting appearance. A specimen nicknamed 'The Painten Pelican' revealed that this pterosaur possessed unique jaws, which did not resemble other ctenochasmatoids. Interested to know more? Keep reading to discover exciting facts about the Cycnorhamphus genus related to its physical description, fossil specimens, morphology, and taxonomy!

If you enjoy reading our Cycnorhamphus interesting facts, you must check out our Dinodocus surprising facts and Stegopelta interesting facts!

Cycnorhamphus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce Cycnorhamphus?

Cycnorhamphus can be pronounced as 'sic-no-ram-fus'.

What type of dinosaur was a Cycnorhamphus?

The Cycnorhamphus (Pterodactylus suevicus or Cycnorhamphus canjuersensis) was a type of pterosaur. Its classification and history are quite long and complicated. A fossil of a Cycnorhamphus was discovered for the first time in 1855. This fossil specimen was discovered in the Kimmeridgian plate of shale (rock plate in deep soil) close to Nusplingen in Württemberg, Germany. It was named by Friedrich August Quenstedt as pterodactylus. However, Harry Govier Seeley assigned it a new genus in 1870: the Cycnorhamphus.

In which geological period did the Cycnorhamphus roam the earth?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus or Cycnorhamphus canjuersensis existed from Germany and France's Late Jurassic period about 157 million years ago until the Tithonian Age.

When did the Cycnorhamphus become extinct?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus or Gallodactylus canjuersensis is assumed to have appeared for the last time at the end of the Tithonian Age.

Where did a Cycnorhamphus live?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus or Gallodactylus canjuersensis is believed to have dwelled in Germany and France as its fossils were discovered in Baden-Württemberg in Bavaria's renowned Solnhofen limestone. Another specimen of Cycnorhamphus was excavated from southern France in 1974 in the Lagerstätte de Canjuers.

What was a Cycnorhamphus's habitat?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus or Cycnorhamphus canjuersensis is believed to have dwelled in marine environments. It is assumed that it inhabited places near the coastlines and had a habitat of sub-tropical, semi-arid, archipelagos. It is also believed that it made terrestrial adaptations.

Who did a Cycnorhamphus live with?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus is known to have co-existed with Solnhofen taxa like the Pterodactylus as well as the Rhamphorhynchus.

How long did a Cycnorhamphus live?

The lifespan of the pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus is not known.

How did they reproduce?

It is not known how these pterosaurs reproduced. It is assumed that they bred seasonally and laid eggs like all other dinosaur species.

Cycnorhamphus Fun Facts

What did a Cycnorhamphus look like?

A description of the pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus tells us it had long jaws featuring teeth present at the tip, similar to Pterodactylus antiquus. A specimen nicknamed 'The Painten Pelican' revealed that this pterosaur possessed unique jaw anatomy, which did not resemble other ctenochasmatoids. The jaws had peg-like teeth that got stouter and blunter as the individual of Cycnorhamphus suevicus species matured.

The Cynorhamphus species had peg-like teeth at the tips of its jaws that got blunter as they matured!

How many bones did a Cycnorhamphus have?

There is no description of how many bones these pterosaurs possessed although Harry Govier Seeley made a study of the bones of C. Suevicus in 1870.

How did they communicate?

Pterosaurs of the late Jurassic era are believed to have communicated through visual displays.

How big was a Cycnorhamphus?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus, also known as Pterodactylus eurychirus, had a length of 3.2 ft (1 m). It is estimated that it had a wingspan of 4.2-4.5 ft (1.3-1.4 m).

How fast could a Cycnorhamphus move?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus could fly. It had well-developed shoulders which prove that it could flap its wings with the help of large and powerful muscles. This suggests that the flight of this pterosaur was not gravity-assisted like animals that glide. The flight was self-propelled. Other species of pterosaurs that could fly include the Dimorphodon, Bellubrunnus, and Zhenyuanopterus.

How much did a Cycnorhamphus weigh?

The Cycnorhamphus, also known as Pterodactylus eurychirus, weighed about 2.5 lb (1,142 g).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The suffix of the term dino means saurus for males and saura for females.

What would you call a baby Cycnorhamphus?

The baby of these C. Suevicus pterosaurs can be referred to as a hatchling or a juvenile.

What did they eat?

These pterosaurs were piscivores. It is hypothesized that as their jaws resemble the jaws of openbill storks with teeth present at the tip, they could hold on to solid invertebrates such as snails and mollusks. It is also speculated they could bisect them or crush them. Its diet included fish, snails, pinecones, and shellfish. Pterodactyls were preyed upon by large dinosaurs, crocodiles, sharks, sea reptiles, and large invertebrates.

How aggressive were they?

These Cycnorhamphus pterosaurs are assumed to have been aggressive and powerful predators due to their jaw structure, aerial speed, and body weight.

Did you know...

The oldest pterosaur lived approximately 220 million years ago in the Triassic period and the latest pterosaur ceased to live about 65 million years ago towards the end of the Cretaceous period.

Harry Govier Seeley made a study of the bones and assigned this specimen to a new genus in 1870.

Was Cycnorhamphus endemic?

The pterosaur Cycnorhamphus suevicus is assumed to be endemic as it had a narrow geographical distribution.

What does Cycnorhamphus mean?

Cycnorhamphus means swan beak named after the unique jaw anatomy of the singular species of Cycnorhamphus.  

 Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Preondactylus facts and Fabrosaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cycnorhamphus coloring pages.

Second image by Haplochromis.

Cycnorhamphus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Mollusks, fish, shellfish, pinecones, and snails

what Type of Animal were they?

Piscivores

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Flying reptiles with a swan-like beak

How Much Did They Weigh?

2.5 lb (1,142 g)

Skin Type

Hair-like filaments

How Long Were They?

3.2 (1 m)

How Tall Were They?

Wingspan: 4.2-4.5 ft (1.3-1.4 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Cycnorhamphus/ Gallodactylus

Family

Gallodactylidae

Scientific Name

Cycnorhamphus suevicus/ Cycnorhamphus canjuersensis/ Pterodactylus wuerttembergicus/ Pterodactylus suevicus/ Pterodactylus eurychirus/ Pterodactylus (Ornithocephalus) eurychirus/ Pterodactylus suevicus eurychirus/ Gallodactylus canjuersensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Marine environments

Where Did They Live?

France and Germany
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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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