Gnathosaurus subulatus

Fossil cast of Gnathosaurus subulatus. (*)

Fossil range: Late Jurassic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ctenochasmatidae
Genus: Gnathosaurus
von Meyer, 1833
  • G. subulatus von Meyer, 1833 (type)

Gnathosaurus is a genus of ctenochasmatid pterosaur known from a single species, G. subulatus, described in 1833. This pterosaur had an estimated wingspan of around 1.7 meters. The slender, 28 cm long skull had up to 130 needle-like teeth arranged laterally around the spoon-shaped tip. Fragments of Gnathosaurus jaw were first discovered in 1832 in the Solnhofen limestones of Southern Germany, and were mistaken for a piece of teleosaurid crocodile jaw, hence the synonym Crocodylus multidens. Only until a skull was found in 1951 - more than a century later - was the animal found to have been a pterosaur. The teeth arranged in a spoon shape may have been used to strain water for small animals, although this is conjectural.


* Crocodylus multidens Munster, 1832
* Gnathosaurus multidens Walther, 1904
* Pterodactylus macrurus Seeley, 1896
* Gnathosaurus macrurus Howse & Milner, 1995





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