STL Science Center

STL Science Center

28 March 2012

Unspecialized Delivery

G. rhamphastinus

Germanodactylus has been described as an "unspecialized pterosaur" meaning that it does not appear to have been specifically adapted to any one purpose such as long flight, preying on fast moving insects, or being an exceptional low level glider. As such, it has been nestled in many different places by many different people over the years as a genus including Germanodactylidae (Yang Zhongjian), Pterodactylidae (Bennett), Pterodactylus (Kellner), and a basal dsungaripteroid (Unwin). Zhongjian's family Germanodactylidae has, for the moment, become the home of the genus however.This family includes two other genera, Normannognathus and Tendaguripterus. One thing that has caused some debate in the genus is that G. cristatus has a beak full of short conical teeth whereas G. rhamphastinus has a beak that does not have any teeth in the tip of its beak and fewer on each side of the beak. Those teeth and the sharpness of their beaks are the majority of evidence that separate Germanodactylus from other genera of pterosaurs. The long and short of the whole genus is that they are pretty basic and, as far as science is concerned, very generic pterosaurs.
G. cristatus

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