Rhamphorhynchus as it appeared in Walking with Dinosaurs

Rhamphorhynchus is an iconic coastal pterosaur that lived in Late Jurassic Europe. It is a common find in Germany, especially in the fantastic lithographic limestone quarries of the Solnhofen deposits, which were once saline lagoons, sheltered behind the coral reefs and the azure beauty of the Late Jurassic Tethys Sea covering much of Europe.

Anoxic/fatally low oxygen layers in the water that formed death traps, suffocated passing marine life and and preserved them and anything else that sank into them (including already dead animals) in the most exquisite manner. Exquisite Rhamphorhynchus fossil specimens are among them.

They ranged from 3-5 1/2 feet in wingspan; large for the long tailed Rhamphorhynchoids, but small compared with the much later giants of the Pterodactyloid Pterosaurs (the short tailed forms) of the Cretaceous Period, which in the case of Quetzalcoatlus, could grow beyond 40 feet in wingspan.

Walking With DinosaursEdit

These creatures are seen in Cruel Sea, where they catch fish similar to Skimmer birds today. Their teeth were very well adapted for catching slippery fish - though swallowing their catch whole was a different matter. They are the quintessential marine island coastal Pterosaur of the Late Jurassic.

Young Rhamphorhynchus are shown to hunt for bark beetles in the trees of the forests on one of the islands - something which it is expressed their beaks are not really evolved to do (they are young and testing every possible prey source, similar in a way to how the baby Ophthalmosaurus attempt to eat Ammonites) In spite of this, at least one is shown to have success in extracting the insects.

After the Horseshoe Crabs lay their eggs, there is a feeding frenzy on one of the beaches, with hundreds of Rhamphorhynchus using their beaks yet again in a way that is coincidentally useful in hunting for food that technically their kind was not originally evolved for (fish hunting only) After a short while, they get attacked by a Eustreptospondylus, and some of them get eaten, but most escape. Several are killed by the hurricane that also beaches a male Liopleurodon.


Rhamphorhynchus can very briefly seen flying overhead in the Second Most Dangerous Sea in Sea Monsters.