STL Science Center

STL Science Center

10 March 2012

Two Picture Saturday

The skull of Cearadactylus is not one hundred percent known. However, the parts that are known point to a very typical pterosaur skull; elongated and light. The teeth that have been found in the portions of the skull found show to be a fearsome set of pencil shaped teeth. The alignment of the teeth appear to indicate its diet quite easily as they do in many other ancient animals. These teeth point to a highly piscivorous diet as does the kink in the upper jaw of the skull. As can be noted by other skulls like that of Spinosaurus and Baryonyx, teeth and skull orientations such as these are very capable and suited to the grasping of fish.

In this image illustrated by M. Shiraishi, the Cearadactylus skull is perfectly well suited to the rest of the body and the teeth, it seems, he has made a little less monstrous looking. Regardless, these teeth are still quite capable of grasping and containing fish. The positioning of the fish was most likely an exercise of agility and skill for these animals and more than likely would have happened after the animal settled itself onto a cliff or other likely spot to rest. The mechanics of flight for the animal seem quite typical of pterosaurs in general and the wings, provided that they are of the design that Shiraishi has illustrated, are fairly typical as well.

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