History UsefulNotes / PrehistoricLifeNonDinosaurianReptiles

26th Aug '17 7:26:19 AM Clare
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* ''Ornithocheirus'' was one of the first pterosaurs discovered, being named in 1869 for a fragementary snout tip from early Cretaceous England. Since then, it's been involved in massive taxonomic quagmire, with dozens of species formerly assigned to it - including its close relative ''Tropeognathus'', the species portrayed in Series/Walking with Dinosaurs (albeit [[BiggerIsBetter well oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" -the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). When someone refers to ''Ornithocheirus'', they probably mean ''Tropeognathus'' - ''Ornithocheirus'' itself is a much smaller animal and much less well-known. Even including ''Tropeognathus'', though, it's interesting that ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal, despite its memorable appearance and how the similarly-oversized marine reptile ''Liopleurodon'' became stock. Like many pterosaurs, the two had specialized heads - with sharp pointed teeth suited for catching fish, and keel-like crests on both jaws probably used for display.

to:

* ''Ornithocheirus'' was one of the first pterosaurs discovered, being named in 1869 for a fragementary snout tip from early Cretaceous England. Since then, it's been involved in massive taxonomic quagmire, with dozens of species formerly assigned to it - including its close relative ''Tropeognathus'', the species portrayed in Series/Walking with Dinosaurs ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'' (albeit [[BiggerIsBetter well oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" -the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). When someone refers to ''Ornithocheirus'', they probably mean ''Tropeognathus'' - ''Ornithocheirus'' itself is a much smaller animal and much less well-known. Even including ''Tropeognathus'', though, it's interesting that ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal, despite its memorable appearance and how the similarly-oversized marine reptile ''Liopleurodon'' became stock. Like many pterosaurs, the two had specialized heads - with sharp pointed teeth suited for catching fish, and keel-like crests on both jaws probably used for display.
7th Aug '17 6:29:01 PM Anomalocaris55
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* ''Dsungaripterus'' lived in Early Cretaceous Asia. Smaller than ''Pteranodon'' but larger than ''Rhamphorhynchus'', it's easily recognizable thanks to its robust and unusually-shaped skull - the toothless beak curves upwards, robust teeth are present further back in the jaw, and a sinusoidal crest is present on the top of the head. The sturdy build of the jaws indicates a diet of hard objects; traditionally believed to be a shellfish specialist, it's also been proposed to have crushed bone. Similar but earlier and more primitive than ''Dsungaripterius'' was ''Germanodactylus'' from Late Jurassic [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Germany]].

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* ''Dsungaripterus'' lived in Early Cretaceous Asia. Smaller than ''Pteranodon'' but larger than ''Rhamphorhynchus'', it's easily recognizable thanks to its robust and unusually-shaped skull - the toothless beak curves upwards, robust teeth are present further back in the jaw, and a sinusoidal crest is present on the top of the head. The sturdy build of the jaws indicates a diet of hard objects; traditionally believed to be a shellfish specialist, it's also been proposed to have crushed bone. Similar but earlier and more primitive than ''Dsungaripterius'' ''Dsungaripterus'' was ''Germanodactylus'' from Late Jurassic [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Germany]].



* ''Ornithocheirus'' was one of the first pterosaurs discovered, being named in 1869 for a fragementary snout tip from early Cretaceous England. Since then, it's been involved in massive taxonomic quagmire, with dozens of species formerly assigned to it - including its close relative ''Tropeognathus'', the species portrayed in Series/Walking with Dinosaurs (albeit [[BiggerIsBetter well oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" -the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). When someone refers to ''Ornithocheirus'', they probably mean ''Tropeognathus'' - ''Ornithocheirus'' itself is a much smaller animal and much less well-known. Even including ''Tropeognathus'', though, it's interesting that ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal, despite its memorable appearance and how the similarly-oversized marine reptile ''Liopleurodon'' became stock. Like many pterosaurs, the two had a specialized head - it had sharp pointed teeth suited for catching fish, and keel-like crests on both jaws probably used for display.

to:

* ''Ornithocheirus'' was one of the first pterosaurs discovered, being named in 1869 for a fragementary snout tip from early Cretaceous England. Since then, it's been involved in massive taxonomic quagmire, with dozens of species formerly assigned to it - including its close relative ''Tropeognathus'', the species portrayed in Series/Walking with Dinosaurs (albeit [[BiggerIsBetter well oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" -the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). When someone refers to ''Ornithocheirus'', they probably mean ''Tropeognathus'' - ''Ornithocheirus'' itself is a much smaller animal and much less well-known. Even including ''Tropeognathus'', though, it's interesting that ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal, despite its memorable appearance and how the similarly-oversized marine reptile ''Liopleurodon'' became stock. Like many pterosaurs, the two had a specialized head heads - it had with sharp pointed teeth suited for catching fish, and keel-like crests on both jaws probably used for display.



Non-toothed and crested: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapejara Tapejara]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupandactylus Tupandactylus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalassodromeus Thalassodromeus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupuxuara Tupuxuara]]''

* ''Tapejara'' was also found in Araripe, like ''Tropeognathus'' and the two examples above. Again a large-sized animal, it was unusual among Early Cretaceous pterodactyloids because of its ''short'' and toothless beak; toothless pterosaurs were mainly in the Late Cretaceous, among them two stock animals, ''Pteranodon'' and ''Quetzalcoatlus''. Some scientists hypothesize ''Tapejara'' was a fruit-eating, toucan-like animal, a rare example of a non-carnivorous flying reptile. Its most striking feature was [[ScienceMarchesOn once]] a huge crest, taller than the head itself (the popular ''Pteranodon''s is unpretentious in comparison). However, the owner of the crest has been known to be a close relative since 2007, the new pterosaur ''Tupandactylus''. ''Tapejara''/''Tupandactylus'' appears in the same episode of Walking With featuring ''Ornithocheirus''. Apparently similar to the two but probably not related was another spectacularly-crested Brazilian pterodactyloid, ''Thalassodromeus'', a pterosaur that was once thought to be a meager skimmer like modern, well, skimmers. [[ScienceMarchesOn True to form]], not only was it not able to skim after all, but it was actually was a terrestrial predator like azhdarchids, and with it's more robust beak, it was probably capable of tackling proportionally large prey -- it might be considered a sort of middle-way between a pterosaurian eagle and a terror bird.

to:

Non-toothed and crested: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapejara Tapejara]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupandactylus Tupandactylus]]'', and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalassodromeus Thalassodromeus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupuxuara Tupuxuara]]''

Thalassodromeus]]''

* ''Tapejara'' was also found in Araripe, like ''Tropeognathus'' and the two examples above. Again a large-sized animal, it was unusual among Early Cretaceous pterodactyloids because of its ''short'' and toothless beak; toothless pterosaurs were mainly in the Late Cretaceous, among them two stock animals, ''Pteranodon'' and ''Quetzalcoatlus''. Some scientists hypothesize ''Tapejara'' was a fruit-eating, toucan-like animal, a rare example of a non-carnivorous flying reptile. Its most striking feature was [[ScienceMarchesOn once]] a huge crest, taller than the head itself (the popular ''Pteranodon''s is unpretentious in comparison). However, the owner of the crest has been known to be a close relative since 2007, been separated into a new genus, the new pterosaur ''Tupandactylus''. ''Tapejara''/''Tupandactylus'' appears in the same episode of Walking With featuring ''Ornithocheirus''. Apparently A similar to the two but probably not closely related toothless pterosaur was another spectacularly-crested Brazilian pterodactyloid, ''Thalassodromeus'', a pterosaur that was once thought to be a meager skimmer like modern, well, skimmers. skimmers - hence the name "sea runner". [[ScienceMarchesOn True Now it's known to form]], not only was it not have been able to skim after all, but it all]], and was actually was a terrestrial predator like azhdarchids, and with it's more azhdarchids. With its large, robust beak, it was probably potentially capable of tackling proportionally large comparatively larger prey -- it might be considered a sort of middle-way between a pterosaurian eagle and a terror bird.than azhdarchids.



* ''Darwinopterus'' was a pretty big deal to the paleo-community; it was the very first pterosaur to show traits of both rhamphorhynchoids (long tail, elongated toe) and pterodactyloids (long head, long wings), making it a possible transitional species between the two groups. These little guys were insect eaters from China, and likely lived alongside little feathered dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period. ''Darwinopterus'' is also interesting in that it was the first pterosaur species to definitively display sexual dimorphism. There were crested and crestless specimens, and one crestless specimen (nicknamed "Mrs. T") was discovered to have died while in the process of laying an egg.

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* ''Darwinopterus'' was a pretty big deal to the paleo-community; it was the very first pterosaur to show traits of both rhamphorhynchoids (long tail, elongated toe) and pterodactyloids (long head, long wings), making it a possible transitional species between the two groups. These little guys were insect eaters from China, and likely lived alongside little feathered dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period. ''Darwinopterus'' is also interesting in that it was the first pterosaur species to definitively display sexual dimorphism. There were crested and crestless specimens, its relatives may have been sexually dimorphic, with males and females differing in crest size - and one crestless specimen of ''Kunpengopterus'' (nicknamed "Mrs. T") was discovered to have died while in the process of laying an egg.



* Now we get really out of the "true pterodactyls" world and enter the "rhamphorhynchs" one, with one of the most ancient pterosaurs, ''Eudimorphodon'' from Late Triassic Italy. Despite its earliness, it already had all features of a typical pterosaur. But it was still small: ''all'' Triassic/Jurassic flying reptiles were small, eagle-sized the most. GiantFlyer-related pteros were only Cretaceous. ''Eudimorphodon'' was very similar to the similar-named ''[[StockDinosaurs Dimorphodon]]'', with the typical long, rigid tail of a rhamphorhynchoid, but with a smaller, thinner head. Its contemporary ''Peteinosaurus'' (also found in the same site) was actually more ''Dimorphodon''-like; it has appeared in WalkingWithDinosaurs to represent the start of pterosaur evolution. However it's not the most archaic pterosaur known: this record may pertain to another Italian Triassic rhamphorhynchoid, ''Preondactylus'', who's only claim to fame is [[RedShirt being eaten by a giant fish]].

Tiny piranhas or froggy-friends? ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anurognathus Anurognathus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemicolopterus Nemicolopterus]]''

* ''Anurognathus'' was one of the tiniest pterosaurs ever, just larger than a sparrow! Lived in Late Jurassic Europe alongside many other pterosaurs, either rhamphorhynchoids or pterodactyloids (among them the two namesakes ''[[StockDinosaurs Rhamphorhynchus]]'' and ''Pterodactylus''), and it had the possibility to see ''Archaeopteryx'' as well. ''Anurognathus'' ("tailless jaw") and its relatives (like the Asian ''Batrachognathus''), were exceptions among rhamphorhynchoids because they were short-tailed, but their stub, rounded, frog-like head, short wings, and robust legs are typical for a rhamphorhynchoid. They were probably insectivorous, possibly living and brooding on trees. Despite having been one of the most harmless Mesozoic creatures in RealLife, not even ''Anurognathus'' has managed to escape the pop-cultural fate which hits all its relatives: ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' has show to us a sort of ZergRush [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology flying piranha]], while the more benevolent Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs has make it a Jurassic oxpecker (which there is also no evidence of). Even smaller is its Chinese relative found in 2008, ''Nemicolopterus'': with an only one-foot wingspan it could be the smallest pterosaur known, but could be a juvenile.

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* Now we get really out of the "true pterodactyls" world and enter the "rhamphorhynchs" one, with one of the most ancient pterosaurs, "rhamphorhynchs". ''Eudimorphodon'' from Late Triassic Italy.Italy is one of the most ancient pterosaurs. Despite its earliness, it already had all features of a typical pterosaur. But it was still small: ''all'' Triassic/Jurassic flying reptiles were small, eagle-sized at least compared to the most. GiantFlyer-related pteros were only GiantFlyer pterosaurs of the Cretaceous. ''Eudimorphodon'' was very similar to the similar-named ''[[StockDinosaurs Dimorphodon]]'', with the typical long, rigid tail of a rhamphorhynchoid, "rhamphorhynchoid", but with a smaller, thinner head.head with complex dentition. Its contemporary ''Peteinosaurus'' (also found in the same site) was actually more ''Dimorphodon''-like; it has appeared in WalkingWithDinosaurs to represent the start of pterosaur evolution. However However, it's not the most archaic pterosaur known: this record may pertain to another Italian Triassic rhamphorhynchoid, "rhamphorhynchoid", ''Preondactylus'', who's whose only claim to fame is [[RedShirt being eaten by a giant fish]].

Tiny piranhas or froggy-friends? ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anurognathus Anurognathus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemicolopterus Nemicolopterus]]''

relatives

* ''Anurognathus'' was one of the tiniest pterosaurs ever, just larger than a sparrow! Lived It lived in Late Jurassic Europe Europe, alongside many other pterosaurs, either rhamphorhynchoids or pterodactyloids (among them the two namesakes ''[[StockDinosaurs Rhamphorhynchus]]'' pterosaurs and ''Pterodactylus''), and it had the possibility to see ''Archaeopteryx'' as well. ''Archaeopteryx''. ''Anurognathus'' ("tailless jaw") and its relatives (like (including the Asian ''Batrachognathus''), were exceptions among rhamphorhynchoids because they were short-tailed, ''Batrachognathus'' and ''Jeholopterus'') are exceptional pterosaurs - short-tailed like pterodactyloids, but their stub, rounded, frog-like head, with short wings, wings and robust legs more like "rhamphorhynchoids". Most notably, however, their skulls are typical for a rhamphorhynchoid.blunt and wide-mouthed, almost froglike in appearance, with gigantic eyes. They were probably insectivorous, possibly living and brooding on trees. Despite having been one of the most harmless Mesozoic creatures in RealLife, not even ''Anurognathus'' has managed to escape the pop-cultural fate which hits all its relatives: ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' has show to us a sort of ZergRush [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology flying piranha]], while the more benevolent Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs has make it a Jurassic oxpecker (which there is also no evidence of). Even smaller is its Chinese relative found in 2008, ''Nemicolopterus'': with an only one-foot wingspan it could be the smallest pterosaur known, but could be a juvenile.
of).



* These guys were also rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs, all from the Jurassic Period. ''Scaphognathus'' was a small seagoing contemporary of the more well-known ''Rhamphorhynchus'' and ''Pterodactylus'', and likely lived on fish. ''Dorygnathus'' may have been even more adapted to a life at sea, with its long narrow wings and sharp, interlocking teeth, perfect for keeping a hold on slippery fish, while the equally Early Jurassic "Campylognathus" (today renamed ''Campylognathoides'') was probably more terrestrial and Dimorphodon-like. ''Harpactognathus'' was one of the few pterosaurs discovered in Late Jurassic North America (in the Morrison Formation, whose conditions there do not make pterosaur fossilization easy). ''Harpactognathus'' was a particularly curious creature, as not only was it an aerial predator (similar to a modern hawk), but it was quite possibly the ''only'' pterosaur that remotely resembled the "PteroSoarer" trope in any way, shape or form; it had a long tail, a crest, teeth and ate small animals off of the ground (though it likely didn't use its feet to grab them). It was also quite large; with an estimated wingspan of eight feet, it is the biggest known rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur -- but still much smaller than several "mid-sized" pterodactyloids.

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* These guys were also rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs, all from the Jurassic Period. ''Scaphognathus'' was a small seagoing generalist contemporary of the more well-known ''Rhamphorhynchus'' and ''Pterodactylus'', and likely lived on fish. ''Pterodactylus''. ''Dorygnathus'' may have been even more was likely adapted to a life at sea, with its long narrow wings and sharp, interlocking teeth, perfect for keeping a hold on slippery fish, while the equally also Early Jurassic "Campylognathus" (today renamed ''Campylognathoides'') was probably more terrestrial and Dimorphodon-like. ''Campylognathoides'' is unusual for its long and heavily-muscled forelimbs, almost "gorilla-armed" in comparison to other pterosaurs. ''Harpactognathus'' was one of the few pterosaurs discovered in Late Jurassic North America (in the Morrison Formation, whose conditions there do not make where pterosaur fossilization is not easy). ''Harpactognathus'' was a particularly curious creature, as not only was it an aerial predator (similar to a modern hawk), but it was quite possibly the ''only'' pterosaur that remotely resembled the "PteroSoarer" trope in any way, shape or form; it had a long tail, a (low) head crest, teeth and ate small animals off of the ground (though it likely didn't use its feet to grab them). teeth. It was also quite large; with an estimated wingspan of eight feet, it is the biggest known rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur -- but still much smaller than several "mid-sized" pterodactyloids.
pterodactyloids. It's thought to have been omnivorous like its relative ''Scaphognathus'', although potentially more predatory of small vertebrates due to its size.



* Among pterosaurs, last but not least: ''Sordes''. Very similar to ''Rhamphorhynchus'', this small Late Jurassic "rhamphorhynch" from Central Asia has had an enormous relevance in ptero-science; it was the first pterosaur ever discovered with ''fur-like covering'' (20 years before the description of the first feathered non-bird dinosaur), and thus led the start to the "Pterosaur Renaissance" briefly described in the pterosaur section of StockDinosaurs. Today, many scientists believe all ornithodirans (= dinos + pteros + their common ancestors) were originally covered in filamentous skin structures - feathers and proto-feathers in the case of dinosaurs, the "pycnofibres" in the case of pterosaurs; both dinosaurs and pterosaurs could have herited this trait from their earliest Triassic ancestors like ''Lagosuchus'' and ''Scleromochlus''. The other main archosaurian lineage, the pseudosuchians (crocs and their extinct relatives) never developed these filamentous elements on their skin during their evolution. See also "Triassic archosaurs" below.

to:

* Among pterosaurs, last but not least: ''Sordes''. Very similar to ''Rhamphorhynchus'', this small Late Jurassic "rhamphorhynch" from Central Asia has had an enormous relevance in ptero-science; it was the first pterosaur ever discovered with ''fur-like covering'' (20 years before the description of the first feathered non-bird dinosaur), and thus led the start to the "Pterosaur Renaissance" briefly described in the pterosaur section of StockDinosaurs. Today, many scientists believe all ornithodirans (= dinos + pteros + their common ancestors) were originally covered in filamentous skin structures - feathers and proto-feathers in the case of dinosaurs, the "pycnofibres" in the case of pterosaurs; both pterosaurs. Both dinosaurs and pterosaurs could have herited inherited this trait from their earliest Triassic ancestors like ''Lagosuchus'' and ''Scleromochlus''. The other main archosaurian lineage, the pseudosuchians (crocs and their extinct relatives) never developed these filamentous elements on their skin during their evolution. See also "Triassic archosaurs" below.
9th Jul '17 6:18:49 PM Anomalocaris55
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The biggest? ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithocheirus Ornithocheirus]]'' (including "''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropeognathus Tropeognathus]]''")

* Another Early Cretaceous animal, found in both Europe and South America - its South American remains were formerly known as ''Tropeognathus'' ("Tropeognathus" could return valid again however), while some English remains were once called "Criorhynchus". ''Ornithocheirus'' has recently become one of the most famous pterosaurs, thanks to its apparition as the main pterosaur within the whole Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs series: [[BiggerIsBetter exaggeratively oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" (the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). Interesting though, despite its memorable apparition ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal since that, unlike the equally oversized marine reptile ''[[StockDinosaurs Liopleurodon]]''. RealLife ''Ornithocheirus'' was large, but ''slightly smaller'' than the famous ''Pteranodon''. Like many other pterosaurs, it had a specialized head, with sharp teeth for catching fish, and a couple of flattened crests protruding respectively from the upper and the lower jaw, with uncertain purpose - once thought to be a sort of "keel" to better plough the water with the mouth, allowing to catch fish in flight (the synonymous "Tropeognathus" means "keel jaw"). It may have been for display.

to:

The biggest? Or not? ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithocheirus Ornithocheirus]]'' (including "''[[http://en.and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropeognathus Tropeognathus]]''")

Tropeognathus]]

* Another Early Cretaceous animal, found in both Europe and South America - its South American remains were formerly known as ''Tropeognathus'' ("Tropeognathus" could return valid again however), while some English remains were once called "Criorhynchus". ''Ornithocheirus'' has recently become was one of the most famous pterosaurs, thanks first pterosaurs discovered, being named in 1869 for a fragementary snout tip from early Cretaceous England. Since then, it's been involved in massive taxonomic quagmire, with dozens of species formerly assigned to it - including its apparition as close relative ''Tropeognathus'', the main pterosaur within the whole Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs series: species portrayed in Series/Walking with Dinosaurs (albeit [[BiggerIsBetter exaggeratively well oversized]] and portrayed as "[[UpToEleven the biggest pterosaur ever]]" (the -the true record holder among known pterosaurs is ''Quetzalcoatlus'' or ''Hatzegopteryx''). Interesting When someone refers to ''Ornithocheirus'', they probably mean ''Tropeognathus'' - ''Ornithocheirus'' itself is a much smaller animal and much less well-known. Even including ''Tropeognathus'', though, despite its memorable apparition it's interesting that ''Ornithocheirus'' has not become a stock animal since that, unlike animal, despite its memorable appearance and how the equally oversized similarly-oversized marine reptile ''[[StockDinosaurs Liopleurodon]]''. RealLife ''Ornithocheirus'' was large, but ''slightly smaller'' than the famous ''Pteranodon''. ''Liopleurodon'' became stock. Like many other pterosaurs, it the two had a specialized head, with head - it had sharp pointed teeth suited for catching fish, and a couple of flattened keel-like crests protruding respectively from the upper and the lower jaw, with uncertain purpose - once thought to be a sort of "keel" to better plough the water with the mouth, allowing to catch fish in flight (the synonymous "Tropeognathus" means "keel jaw"). It may have been on both jaws probably used for display.
display.



* Most South American pterosaurs have been found in northern Brazil, especially in the Early Cretaceous site of Araripe: ''Cearadactylus'' and ''Anhanguera'' were among them. All pterosaurs already seen pertain to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterodactyloidea pterodactyloid]] subgroup, aka the ''literal'' "pterodactyls". These were the most advanced pterosaurs, all with a vestigial tail, and usually with long, slender jaws, longer wings and weaker hind limbs than their more primitive Triassic and Jurassic relatives [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphorhynchoidea Rhamphorhynchoids]] (the "rhamphorhynchs"). ''Anhanguera'' was a close relative of ''Ornithocheirus'', with the same keeled jaws; its footprints show it assumed a quadrupedal gait when on land. The appearance of ''Cearadactylus'' looks like that of an oversized ''[[StockDinosaurs Pterodactylus]]'', with no easily recognizable traits. ''Cearadactylus'' was chosen as "the pterosaur" in the first ''Literature/JurassicPark'' novel: needless to say, in the [[PteroSoarer airborne terror]] role.

Non-toothed and crested: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapejara Tapejara]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupandactylus Tupandactylus]]'', and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalassodromeus Thalassodromeus]]''

* ''Tapejara'' was also found in Araripe like ''Ornithocheirus'' and the two examples above. Again a large-sized animal, it was unusual among Early Cretaceous pterodactyloids because of its ''short'' and toothless beak; toothless pterosaurs were mainly in the Late Cretaceous, among them two stock animals, ''Pteranodon'' and ''Quetzalcoatlus''. Some scientists hypothesize ''Tapejara'' was a fruit-eating, toucan-like animal, a rare example of a non-carnivorous flying reptile. Its most striking feature was [[ScienceMarchesOn once]] a huge crest, taller than the head itself (the popular ''Pteranodon''s is unpretentious in comparison). However, the owner of the crest has been known to be a close relative since 2007, the new pterosaur ''Tupandactylus''. ''Tapejara''/''Tupandactylus'' appears in the same episode of Walking With featuring ''Ornithocheirus''. Apparently similar to the two but probably not related was another spectacularly-crested Brazilian pterodactyloid, ''Thalassodromeus'', a pterosaur that was once thought to be a meager skimmer like modern, well, skimmers. [[ScienceMarchesOn True to form]], not only was it not able to skim after all, but it was actually was a terrestrial predator like azhdarchids, and with it's more robust beak, it was probably capable of tackling proportionally large prey -- it might be considered a sort of middle-way between a pterosaurian eagle and a terror bird.

to:

* Most South American pterosaurs have been found in northern Brazil, especially in the Early Cretaceous site of Araripe: ''Cearadactylus'' and ''Anhanguera'' were among them. All pterosaurs already seen pertain to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterodactyloidea pterodactyloid]] subgroup, aka the ''literal'' "pterodactyls". These were the most advanced pterosaurs, all with a vestigial tail, and usually with long, slender jaws, longer wings and weaker hind limbs than their more primitive Triassic and Jurassic relatives [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphorhynchoidea Rhamphorhynchoids]] (the "rhamphorhynchs"). ''Anhanguera'' was a close relative of ''Ornithocheirus'', with the same keeled jaws; its footprints show it assumed a quadrupedal gait when jaws. Multiple species are known, some from very complete remains. Studies done on land. The appearance of ''Anhanguera'' fossils have revealed much information about flight mechanics. ''Cearadactylus'' looks was also a close relative; in life, it would have looked like that of an oversized ''[[StockDinosaurs Pterodactylus]]'', ''Anhanguera'' or ''Tropeognathus'' with no easily recognizable traits. a very low, nearly invisible crest. Both had very large, recurved teeth, used for catching fish. ''Cearadactylus'' was chosen as "the pterosaur" in the first ''Literature/JurassicPark'' novel: needless to say, in the [[PteroSoarer airborne terror]] role.role, while ''Anhanguera'' is most well known for starring in Series/DinosaurRevolution.

Non-toothed and crested: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapejara Tapejara]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupandactylus Tupandactylus]]'', and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalassodromeus Thalassodromeus]]''

Thalassodromeus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupuxuara Tupuxuara]]''

* ''Tapejara'' was also found in Araripe Araripe, like ''Ornithocheirus'' ''Tropeognathus'' and the two examples above. Again a large-sized animal, it was unusual among Early Cretaceous pterodactyloids because of its ''short'' and toothless beak; toothless pterosaurs were mainly in the Late Cretaceous, among them two stock animals, ''Pteranodon'' and ''Quetzalcoatlus''. Some scientists hypothesize ''Tapejara'' was a fruit-eating, toucan-like animal, a rare example of a non-carnivorous flying reptile. Its most striking feature was [[ScienceMarchesOn once]] a huge crest, taller than the head itself (the popular ''Pteranodon''s is unpretentious in comparison). However, the owner of the crest has been known to be a close relative since 2007, the new pterosaur ''Tupandactylus''. ''Tapejara''/''Tupandactylus'' appears in the same episode of Walking With featuring ''Ornithocheirus''. Apparently similar to the two but probably not related was another spectacularly-crested Brazilian pterodactyloid, ''Thalassodromeus'', a pterosaur that was once thought to be a meager skimmer like modern, well, skimmers. [[ScienceMarchesOn True to form]], not only was it not able to skim after all, but it was actually was a terrestrial predator like azhdarchids, and with it's more robust beak, it was probably capable of tackling proportionally large prey -- it might be considered a sort of middle-way between a pterosaurian eagle and a terror bird.
9th Jul '17 3:57:39 PM Anomalocaris55
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Masters of the air: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosternbergia Geosternbergia]]'' (former "Pteranodon sternbergi") and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyctosaurus Nyctosaurus]]''

* ''Geosternbergia'' lived in the coastlines of Late Cretaceous North America, just like its pop culture relative, ''[[StockDinosaurs Pteranodon longiceps]]''. Even larger than the latter, it also had a more striking look: its toothless beak curved upwards instead of being straight, and its crest was taller, shorter and more developed. Another pterosaur from the same habitat, ''Nyctosaurus'', was also similar to ''Pteranodon longiceps'' but smaller, and had an extraordinary, ''two branched'' crest (the two "branches" possibly sustained a flap of skin, although no evidence has been found). This was also the only pterosaur ''without fingers'' on its wing, making it the most aerial reptile ever discovered. ''Geosternbergia'' was briefly portrayed in Disney's ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'' (perhaps the ''only'' mostly correct pterosaur portrait ever made in fiction); while ''Nyctosaurus'' appears in the Walking With spin-off ''Series/PrehistoricPark''.

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Masters of the air: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosternbergia Geosternbergia]]'' (former "Pteranodon sternbergi") Geosternbergia]]/Pteranodon sternbergi'') and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyctosaurus Nyctosaurus]]''

* ''Geosternbergia'' (or ''Pteranodon sternbergi'', depending on who you ask) lived in the coastlines of Late Cretaceous North America, just like its pop culture relative, ''[[StockDinosaurs Pteranodon longiceps]]''. Even Slightly larger than the latter, it also had a more striking look: its toothless beak curved upwards instead of being straight, and its crest was taller, shorter and more developed. Another pterosaur from the same habitat, ''Nyctosaurus'', was also similar to ''Pteranodon longiceps'' but smaller, smaller and straight-beaked, and had an extraordinary, ''two branched'' crest (the ''two-branched'' crest. The two "branches" possibly sustained branches may have supported a flap of skin, although though this is unlikely, and there is no evidence has been found). to support it. This was also the only pterosaur ''without non-wing fingers'' on its wing, each hand, making it the most aerial reptile ever discovered. ''Geosternbergia'' was briefly portrayed in Disney's ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'' (perhaps the ''only'' mostly correct pterosaur portrait ever made in fiction); while ''Nyctosaurus'' appears in the Walking With spin-off ''Series/PrehistoricPark''.



* Azhdarchids were the only confirmed pterosaur family still alive at the end of the Cretaceous [[note]]accumulating evidence is present to suggest that many other pterosaurs also made to the end; such as nyctosaurs, but currently remains of non-azhdarchid pterosaurs are sparse[[/note]], it was hit by the K-Pg extinction event. The largest pterosaurs known to science (''[[StockDinosaurs Quetzalcoatlus]]'' and ''Hatzegopteryx'') belong to this family, but there were also many other smaller-sized cosmopolitan members as well (like the Asian namesake ''Azhdarcho''). They were among the less aerial pterosaurs, with relatively short wings and very developed neck and hindlimbs; now ptero-scientists think they were a sorta stork-like in habits, walking around, grabbing any animal they could swallow and eating them. ''Hatzegopteryx'' is the only exception for this, as its much more robust body plan made it a big-game hunter (more details below). Their heads were vaguely ''Pteranodon''-like with toothless mouths but they had small crests (if they had crests at all).

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* Azhdarchids were the only confirmed pterosaur family still alive at the end of the Cretaceous [[note]]accumulating evidence is present to suggest that many other pterosaurs also made to the end; such as nyctosaurs, but currently remains of non-azhdarchid pterosaurs are sparse[[/note]], sparse[[/note]] when it was hit by the K-Pg extinction event. The largest pterosaurs known to science (''[[StockDinosaurs Quetzalcoatlus]]'' and ''Hatzegopteryx'') belong to this family, but there were also many other smaller-sized cosmopolitan members as well (like the Asian namesake ''Azhdarcho''). They were among the less aerial pterosaurs, with relatively short wings and very developed long neck and hindlimbs; now ptero-scientists think they were a sorta rather stork-like in habits, walking around, grabbing any animal they could swallow and eating them. ''Hatzegopteryx'' is the only exception for this, an exception, as its much more robust body plan made it a big-game hunter (more details below). ''Alanqa'', from mid-Cretaceous Morocco, may also be an exception, as that species has a specialized beak that could imply durophagy (feeding on hard-shelled organisms). Their heads were vaguely ''Pteranodon''-like with toothless mouths mouths, but they had small crests (if they had crests at all).
all) and, in some cases at least, very long beaks.



* Since the late 1990s ''Quetzalcoatlus'' has not been the only azdharchid with its size. Several others were discovered with a similar wingspan, ex. ''Arambourgiania'' and ''Montanazdharcho''. But with a whopping 39-foot wingspan, ''Hatzegopteryx'' was the biggest of them, and quite possibly ''the'' [[GiantFlyer biggest pterosaur (and flying animal in general) of all time]]. Hatzegopteryx lived on the Hateg Basin Island in Romania (after which it was named). It's a peculiar creature for many reasons; while the island was home to dinosaurs that were subject to island dwarfism, ''Hatzegopteryx'' went the opposite direction and was subject to island gigantism. This would have put ''Hatzegopteryx'' on the top of the island's food chain and it was the apex predator of the area. Additionally, unlike the lankier pterosaurs in the Azhdarchid family (its American cousin ''Quetzalcoatlus'' for example), ''Hatzegopteryx'' would likely have had an extremely thick and muscular build and a relatively short neck. This likely means that ''Hatzegopteryx'', rather than eating and swallowing tiny animals off the ground, likely chased animals the size of cows and [[NightmareFuel ripped them apart for sustenance]]. Despite all this, ''Hatzegopteryx'' hasn't become [[StockDinosaurs stock]] just yet. However, as its existence is being advertised more and more, it's edging ever closer to that point. Its current claim to fame is a memorable appearance in the documentary ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'', which was made [[ScienceMarchesOn before the species' robust body plan was known]].

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* Since the late 1990s ''Quetzalcoatlus'' has was not been the only azdharchid with its size. Several gigantic azhdarchid. Since the 90's, several others were have been discovered with a similar estimated wingspan, ex. ''Arambourgiania'' and ''Montanazdharcho''.e.g. ''Arambourgiania''. But with a whopping 39-foot wingspan, ''Hatzegopteryx'' was the biggest of them, and quite possibly ''the'' [[GiantFlyer biggest pterosaur (and flying animal in general) of all time]]. Hatzegopteryx lived on the and was named after Hateg Basin Island in Romania (after which it was named).Romania. It's a peculiar creature for many reasons; while the island was home to dinosaurs that were subject to island dwarfism, ''Hatzegopteryx'' went the opposite direction and was subject to island gigantism. This would have put ''Hatzegopteryx'' on the top of the island's food chain and it was the apex predator of the area. chain. Additionally, unlike the lankier pterosaurs in the Azhdarchid family (its American cousin ''Quetzalcoatlus'' for example), most other azhdarchids, ''Hatzegopteryx'' would likely have had an extremely thick and muscular build and a relatively short neck. This likely means implies that ''Hatzegopteryx'', rather ''Hatzegopteryx'' hunted significantly larger prey than eating and swallowing tiny animals off the ground, likely chased animals other azhdarchids ([[NightmareFuel potentially up to the size of cows and [[NightmareFuel ripped them apart for sustenance]].a cow]]). Despite all this, ''Hatzegopteryx'' hasn't become [[StockDinosaurs stock]] just yet. However, But as its existence is being advertised becomes more and more, well-known, it's edging ever closer to that point. Its current claim to fame is a memorable appearance in the documentary ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'', which was made [[ScienceMarchesOn before the species' robust body plan was known]].



* ''Dsungaripterus'' lived in Early Cretaceous Asia. Smaller than ''Pteranodon'' but larger than ''Rhamphorhynchus'', it's easily recognizable thanks to its skull traditionally believed specialized to eat shellfish: bill curved upwards to extract molluscs from their shells, and nutcracker-like jaws with small crushing teeth at the bottom, adapted to grind hard food items. Most pterosaurs known to science were somewhat related to aquatic environment: we still have very little knowledge about non-water-loving pterosaurs, and ''Dsungaripterus'' could soon become one of them thanks to ScienceMarchesOn; a study found that it was mostly terrestrial, in which case its teeth would be for crushing bone instead. Similar but earlier and more primitive than ''Dsungaripterius'' was ''Germanodactylus'' from Late Jurassic [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Germany]].

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* ''Dsungaripterus'' lived in Early Cretaceous Asia. Smaller than ''Pteranodon'' but larger than ''Rhamphorhynchus'', it's easily recognizable thanks to its robust and unusually-shaped skull - the toothless beak curves upwards, robust teeth are present further back in the jaw, and a sinusoidal crest is present on the top of the head. The sturdy build of the jaws indicates a diet of hard objects; traditionally believed specialized to eat shellfish: bill curved upwards be a shellfish specialist, it's also been proposed to extract molluscs from their shells, and nutcracker-like jaws with small crushing teeth at the bottom, adapted to grind hard food items. Most pterosaurs known to science were somewhat related to aquatic environment: we still have very little knowledge about non-water-loving pterosaurs, and ''Dsungaripterus'' could soon become one of them thanks to ScienceMarchesOn; a study found that it was mostly terrestrial, in which case its teeth would be for crushing bone instead.crushed bone. Similar but earlier and more primitive than ''Dsungaripterius'' was ''Germanodactylus'' from Late Jurassic [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Germany]].



* ''Istiodactylus'' was once called ''[[ScienceMarchesOn Ornithodesmus]]'', although that name turned out to be from a dromaeosaurid. It was a large European pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous, characterized by a spatula-like bill lined with small teeth. It might have been a scavenger, as the teeth are serrated and small, unlike the long, conical teeth of piscivorous pterosaurs. Indeed, the several pterosaurs from the Cretaceous had very diverse head shapes and different food habits, just like modern birds.

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* ''Istiodactylus'' was once called ''[[ScienceMarchesOn Ornithodesmus]]'', although that name turned out to be from a dromaeosaurid. It was a fairly large European pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous, characterized by a spatula-like bill lined with small teeth. It might have been a scavenger, as the teeth are serrated and small, tightly-interlocking, unlike the long, conical teeth of piscivorous pterosaurs. Indeed, the several pterosaurs from the Cretaceous had very diverse head shapes and different food habits, just like modern birds.



* ''Pterodaustro'' was perhaps the most specialized of all pterosaurs. Its name means "southern wing": it's the first discovered among the numerous South American pterosaurs. Often seen as a sort of Cretaceous flamingo (but with ''upward-curved'' jaws unlike flamingoes): this because its teeth were very apt to a filter-feeding way of life in lakes or coastal lagoons. It had extremely abundant, baleen-like lower teeth which acted as a filter for minute planktic crustaceans, while upper teeth were tiny, probably adapted to chew the plankton. Also filter-feeding but well-less specialized than ''Pterodaustro'' were the European Late Jurassic ''Ctenochasma'' ("comb-like jaws") and ''Gnathosaurus'' ("jaw-reptile") ,both similar to ''Pterodactylus'' and once confused with it; while their neighboring relative ''Cycnorhamphus'' (originally called "Gallodactylus", "rooster digit") is a bit more mysterious about its feeding habits.

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* ''Pterodaustro'' was perhaps the most specialized of all pterosaurs. Its name means "southern wing": it's it was the first discovered among the numerous South American pterosaurs. Often It is often seen as a sort of Cretaceous flamingo (but flamingo, and for good reason: its lower jaw was filled with ''upward-curved'' jaws unlike flamingoes): this because its teeth were very apt to a filter-feeding way hundreds of life in lakes or coastal lagoons. It had extremely abundant, long, narrow, baleen-like lower teeth which acted as a filter for minute planktic crustaceans, while upper teeth were tiny, - probably adapted used to chew filter microscopic plankton out of the plankton. Also filter-feeding but well-less specialized than water in a similar manner. Unlike flamingos, the jaws were curved ''upwards''. ''Pterodaustro'' were is a Ctenochasmatid, closely related to other filter-feeding but less specialized pterosaurs, such a the European Late Jurassic ''Ctenochasma'' ("comb-like jaws") and ''Gnathosaurus'' ("jaw-reptile") ,both similar to ''Pterodactylus'' and once confused with it; while their neighboring relative ''Cycnorhamphus'' (originally called "Gallodactylus", "rooster digit") is a bit more mysterious about its feeding habits.
the Chinese ''Moganopterus'' and ''Gegepterus''.
9th Jul '17 7:32:27 AM Carliro
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Another commonplace to debunk is that Mesozoic mammals were ''all'' insectivores. Actually, a whole group, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multituberculata multituberculates]] were rodent-like and herbivorous: their name "multi-tubercled tooth" is due to an unique couple of protruding cheek-teeth. They were the most abundant early mammals at the end of the Cretaceous, and managed to survive after the mass extinction. At the beginning of the Cenozoic they became even more successful, until true rodents replaced them in the Oligocene. Multituberculates were the longest living mammalian group ever before gone extinct. The largest one, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taeniolabis Taeniolabis]]'' from the Palaeocene, weighed 30 kg (the bulk of a beaver).

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Another commonplace to debunk is that Mesozoic mammals were ''all'' insectivores. Actually, a whole group, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multituberculata multituberculates]] were rodent-like and herbivorous: their name "multi-tubercled tooth" is due to an unique couple of protruding cheek-teeth. They were the most abundant early mammals at the end of the Cretaceous, and managed to survive after the mass extinction. At the beginning of the Cenozoic they became even more successful, until true rodents replaced them in the Oligocene. Multituberculates were the longest living mammalian group ever before gone extinct. The largest one, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taeniolabis Taeniolabis]]'' from the Palaeocene, weighed 30 100 kg (the bulk of a beaver).panda).
21st Oct '16 5:07:12 PM Berrenta
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* On the other hand, the very un-ichthyosaur-like ''Cymbospondylus'' has received a "better" treatment, showing up as the "[[TheyJustDidntCare biggest ichthyosaur]]" in the Triassic seas in ''[[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Sea Monsters]]''. Even though it was large as well, reaching 9m, it was far smaller than ''Shonisaurus'' and ''Shastasaurus'' (the series' accompanying book got this right). Unlike the latest two, ''Cymbospondylus'' was one of the most basal ichthyosaurs known, being similar to a mosasaur, with only a hint of caudal fin and a very elongated body: it may have even been too primitive to be an ichthyosaur proper. However, its head was already ichthyosaurian, and had no visible neck.

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* On the other hand, the very un-ichthyosaur-like ''Cymbospondylus'' has received a "better" treatment, showing up as the "[[TheyJustDidntCare biggest ichthyosaur]]" "biggest ichthyosaur" in the Triassic seas in ''[[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Sea Monsters]]''. Even though it was large as well, reaching 9m, it was far smaller than ''Shonisaurus'' and ''Shastasaurus'' (the series' accompanying book got this right). Unlike the latest two, ''Cymbospondylus'' was one of the most basal ichthyosaurs known, being similar to a mosasaur, with only a hint of caudal fin and a very elongated body: it may have even been too primitive to be an ichthyosaur proper. However, its head was already ichthyosaurian, and had no visible neck.



* Even though are often nicknamed "gliding lizards", these reptiles ''were not'' lizards. They were small and lizard-shaped nonetheless, except for one thing: they were able to ''glide'', just like a modern lizard species called "flying dragon". They weren't related to each other, and adopted several different gliding structures and mechanisms: North American ''[[VideoGame/KidIcarus Icarosaurus]]'' and European ''Kuehneosaurus'' had elongated ribs which sustained a skin membrane acting as a parachute, just like that of the "flying dragon"; Asian ''Sharovipteryx'' had membranes extending from limbs to the body, in a way rather similar to pterosaurs. [[note]]Some thought ''Sharovipteryx'' was the ''actual'' ancestor of pterosaurs, but this is not accepted by most experts.[[/note]] While the most enigmatic of all, ''Longisquama'' (its name means "long scale") had two rows of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin long scales]] protruding from each side of its body. However, nobody knows what these things exactly were (Real scales? Proto-feathers? Or a simple fossilization artefact as it seems according to recent research?) Despite this, ''Longisquama'' is perhaps the most portrayed "gliding lizard" in documentary media, and has even made an apparition in Disney's Dinosaur, [[TheyJustDidntCare wrongly shows as an active flier capable to flap its "wings"]]. Another "gliding lizard" appeared in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'': ''Coelurosauravus'' (see below).

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* Even though are often nicknamed "gliding lizards", these reptiles ''were not'' lizards. They were small and lizard-shaped nonetheless, except for one thing: they were able to ''glide'', just like a modern lizard species called "flying dragon". They weren't related to each other, and adopted several different gliding structures and mechanisms: North American ''[[VideoGame/KidIcarus Icarosaurus]]'' and European ''Kuehneosaurus'' had elongated ribs which sustained a skin membrane acting as a parachute, just like that of the "flying dragon"; Asian ''Sharovipteryx'' had membranes extending from limbs to the body, in a way rather similar to pterosaurs. [[note]]Some thought ''Sharovipteryx'' was the ''actual'' ancestor of pterosaurs, but this is not accepted by most experts.[[/note]] While the most enigmatic of all, ''Longisquama'' (its name means "long scale") had two rows of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin long scales]] protruding from each side of its body. However, nobody knows what these things exactly were (Real scales? Proto-feathers? Or a simple fossilization artefact as it seems according to recent research?) Despite this, ''Longisquama'' is perhaps the most portrayed "gliding lizard" in documentary media, and has even made an apparition in Disney's Dinosaur, [[TheyJustDidntCare wrongly shows as an active flier capable to flap its "wings"]]."wings". Another "gliding lizard" appeared in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'': ''Coelurosauravus'' (see below).
8th Oct '16 10:47:12 PM DustSnitch
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* Since the late 1990s ''Quetzalcoatlus'' has not been the only azdharchid with its size. Several others were discovered with a similar wingspan, ex. ''Arambourgiania'' and ''Montanazdharcho''. But with a whopping 39-foot wingspan, ''Hatzegopteryx'' was the biggest of them, and quite possibly ''the'' [[GiantFlyer biggest pterosaur (and flying animal in general) of all time]]. Hatzegopteryx lived on the Hateg Basin Island in Romania (after which it was named). It's a peculiar creature for many reasons; while the island was home to dinosaurs that were subject to island dwarfism, ''Hatzegopteryx'' went the opposite direction and was subject to island gigantism. This would have put ''Hatzegopteryx'' on the top of the island's food chain and it was the apex predator of the area. Additionally, unlike the lankier pterosaurs in the Azhdarchid family (its American cousin ''Quetzalcoatlus'' for example), ''Hatzegopteryx'' would likely have had an extremely thick and muscular build and a relatively short neck. This likely means that ''Hatzegopteryx'', rather than eating and swallowing tiny animals off the ground, likely [[{{Badass}} chased animals the size of cows]] and [[NightmareFuel ripped them apart for sustenance]]. Despite all this, ''Hatzegopteryx'' hasn't become [[StockDinosaurs stock]] just yet. However, as its existence is being advertised more and more, it's edging ever closer to that point. Its current claim to fame is a memorable appearance in the documentary ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'', which was made [[ScienceMarchesOn before the species' robust body plan was known]].

to:

* Since the late 1990s ''Quetzalcoatlus'' has not been the only azdharchid with its size. Several others were discovered with a similar wingspan, ex. ''Arambourgiania'' and ''Montanazdharcho''. But with a whopping 39-foot wingspan, ''Hatzegopteryx'' was the biggest of them, and quite possibly ''the'' [[GiantFlyer biggest pterosaur (and flying animal in general) of all time]]. Hatzegopteryx lived on the Hateg Basin Island in Romania (after which it was named). It's a peculiar creature for many reasons; while the island was home to dinosaurs that were subject to island dwarfism, ''Hatzegopteryx'' went the opposite direction and was subject to island gigantism. This would have put ''Hatzegopteryx'' on the top of the island's food chain and it was the apex predator of the area. Additionally, unlike the lankier pterosaurs in the Azhdarchid family (its American cousin ''Quetzalcoatlus'' for example), ''Hatzegopteryx'' would likely have had an extremely thick and muscular build and a relatively short neck. This likely means that ''Hatzegopteryx'', rather than eating and swallowing tiny animals off the ground, likely [[{{Badass}} chased animals the size of cows]] cows and [[NightmareFuel ripped them apart for sustenance]]. Despite all this, ''Hatzegopteryx'' hasn't become [[StockDinosaurs stock]] just yet. However, as its existence is being advertised more and more, it's edging ever closer to that point. Its current claim to fame is a memorable appearance in the documentary ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'', which was made [[ScienceMarchesOn before the species' robust body plan was known]].



* All mosasaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous, and thus were short-lived compared to other sea reptiles. The gigantic ''[[StockDinosaurs Tylosaurus]]'' and ''Mosasaurus'' are the two stock genera, often confused each other in paleo-art. Among other mosasaurs, we can mention: the rather ichthyosaur-like ''Plotosaurus'', a specialized mosasaur which was as large as ''Tylosaurus''; the much smaller, more traditional-looking ''Platecarpus'' and ''Clidastes'', both very common in the famous inland sea that covered central North America at the time (which was also home to ''Tylosaurus''), the unusual ammonite eater ''Globidens'', with a typical mosasaur shape but uniquely blunt teeth, and the first mosasaur: the amphibious ''Dallasaurus'', which had ''functioning legs''. While some scientists speculated that mosasaurs evolved from the same ancestor as snakes, the discovery of legless snakes predating ''Dallasaurus'' has debunked that, and it is now known that they are varanoids, making them the BadAss [[SuperNotDrowningSkills marine]] cousins of monitor lizards such as the Komodo dragon and ''Megalania''. More recently a freshwater mosasaur been discovered, named ''Pannoniasaurus'' and it wasn't a small animal like ''Dallasaurus'', it had a length considerable to the largest living crocodilians and likely took a niche similar to them, ambushing dinosaurs as they came to drink.

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* All mosasaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous, and thus were short-lived compared to other sea reptiles. The gigantic ''[[StockDinosaurs Tylosaurus]]'' and ''Mosasaurus'' are the two stock genera, often confused each other in paleo-art. Among other mosasaurs, we can mention: the rather ichthyosaur-like ''Plotosaurus'', a specialized mosasaur which was as large as ''Tylosaurus''; the much smaller, more traditional-looking ''Platecarpus'' and ''Clidastes'', both very common in the famous inland sea that covered central North America at the time (which was also home to ''Tylosaurus''), the unusual ammonite eater ''Globidens'', with a typical mosasaur shape but uniquely blunt teeth, and the first mosasaur: the amphibious ''Dallasaurus'', which had ''functioning legs''. While some scientists speculated that mosasaurs evolved from the same ancestor as snakes, the discovery of legless snakes predating ''Dallasaurus'' has debunked that, and it is now known that they are varanoids, making them the BadAss badass [[SuperNotDrowningSkills marine]] cousins of monitor lizards such as the Komodo dragon and ''Megalania''. More recently a freshwater mosasaur been discovered, named ''Pannoniasaurus'' and it wasn't a small animal like ''Dallasaurus'', it had a length considerable to the largest living crocodilians and likely took a niche similar to them, ambushing dinosaurs as they came to drink.



* Let's start with giant freshwater crocodylomorphs, [[RuleOfCool for obvious reasons]]. ''Sarcosuchus'' ("meat-eating croc") was not an Eusuchian but only a crocodylomorph distantly related with true crocodilians. Its shape was that of a gigantic gharial, with long thin jaws and numerous needle-like teeth. First found in Cretaceous Northern Africa in the same habitat of ''Spinosaurus'', it was recently found also in South America, where ''Giganotosaurus'' roamed. 15 m long, ''Sarcosuchus'' was basically the same bulk of these giant theropods. Recently CGI documentaries have popularized the ''Deino-'' and the ''Sarco-'' ''-suchus'' with the nickname “supercrocs”. Given their size they could have eaten giant dinosaurs if they’d the chance, and some portraits show them [[BadAss defeating even the biggest theropods]]. In RealLife, it's more likely such powerful predators tried to avoid each other, but ''Deinosuchus'' (who can be found [[StockDinosaursNonDinosaurs here]]) is known to have attacked living tyrannosaurs (shown by a leg bone that healed after the bite). Few of us know, however, that two enormous crocs lived just ''few million years ago'', in full Mammal Age, when the first hominids just started their evolutionary journey: the gharial-like ''Rhamphosuchus'' from India and the cayman-like ''Purussaurus'' from South America. And they were at least as big as (if not bigger than) the two dinosaur-eating docu-stars. The recently (2012) discovered ''Aegisuchus'' might have been even larger: measurements of its skull (which was larger than a human by itself) suggest an animal over 20 metres long, making ''Aegisuchus'' [[UpToEleven the longest predator to ever live]]. Although it's much more probable that its skull was larger in comparison to its body than other crocodylomorphs.

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* Let's start with giant freshwater crocodylomorphs, [[RuleOfCool for obvious reasons]]. ''Sarcosuchus'' ("meat-eating croc") was not an Eusuchian but only a crocodylomorph distantly related with true crocodilians. Its shape was that of a gigantic gharial, with long thin jaws and numerous needle-like teeth. First found in Cretaceous Northern Africa in the same habitat of ''Spinosaurus'', it was recently found also in South America, where ''Giganotosaurus'' roamed. 15 m long, ''Sarcosuchus'' was basically the same bulk of these giant theropods. Recently CGI documentaries have popularized the ''Deino-'' and the ''Sarco-'' ''-suchus'' with the nickname “supercrocs”. Given their size they could have eaten giant dinosaurs if they’d the chance, and some portraits show them [[BadAss defeating even the biggest theropods]].theropods. In RealLife, it's more likely such powerful predators tried to avoid each other, but ''Deinosuchus'' (who can be found [[StockDinosaursNonDinosaurs here]]) is known to have attacked living tyrannosaurs (shown by a leg bone that healed after the bite). Few of us know, however, that two enormous crocs lived just ''few million years ago'', in full Mammal Age, when the first hominids just started their evolutionary journey: the gharial-like ''Rhamphosuchus'' from India and the cayman-like ''Purussaurus'' from South America. And they were at least as big as (if not bigger than) the two dinosaur-eating docu-stars. The recently (2012) discovered ''Aegisuchus'' might have been even larger: measurements of its skull (which was larger than a human by itself) suggest an animal over 20 metres long, making ''Aegisuchus'' [[UpToEleven the longest predator to ever live]]. Although it's much more probable that its skull was larger in comparison to its body than other crocodylomorphs.



* Contrary to turtles and crocodilians, lizards' fossil record is extremely poor: their gracile skeletons do not usually fossilize. Ironically, the best preserved lizard remains known so far were discovered... into other creatures' rib cages. It's particularly famous the case of ''Bavarisaurus'', a small Jurassic lizard found into the first discovered ''Compsognathus'' skeleton. We don't know exactly which kind of modern lizards lived already in the Age of Dinosaurs: we're sure there were at least geckos, monitors, and proto-iguanas; while chameleons seem to be a recent evolution, after the non-avian dinosaur extinction, derived from iguana-like ancestors. Lizards occupied the same niche ruled by mammals and the apparently similar land crocs, as small insectivores or omnivores. Many modern lizards are still compared with dinosaurs, or even passed off as "mini-dinosaurs", in documentaries and pop books; ironically, just because they were used in the past as a model for the early dinosaur paintings and models. This spread the popular notion that ''all'' prehistoric reptiles were nothing but "giant lizards": a notion then adopted by films, comics and whatnot, which has given to us the {{Slurpasaur}} trope. But lizards actually pertain to a ''very different'' group of reptiles than dinosaurs and even crocodiles (both archosaurs); this group is called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squamata squamates]] (literally "the scaly ones"). Together with the sphenodonts (see below), squamates form in turn the lepidosaurs. One may even hear the largest modern lizards ''literally'' passed off as dinosaurs in documentaries or other non-fictional works; the predestined victim is, obviously, the large monitor lizard called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragon Komodo dragon]]. The astonishing thing is, our Indonesian "dragon" did have in the recent past a close Australian relative much, much larger than itself: ''Megalania'' was 20 ft long, ''twice as long as its Komodo kin''; like its contemporary (this was a modern animal that lived with and was wipe rout by humans) it was highly intelligent, as smart as most carnivorous mammals, was a fast runner, had shark-like teeth, produced venom, and lived ''just 50000 years ago''. It was, arguably, one of the most powerful predators of its habitat (but don't forget the contemporary marsupial lion: though not larger than a lion, some scientists think it was the most efficient mammalian predator ever, maybe even capable to [[BadAss kill a fully-grown Megalania if it was lucky!]]). ''Megalania'' is by far the largest lizard that ever lived. But wait... have we forgotten something? Yeah, the mosasaurs. It's so easy to forget this, but they ''were'' true lizards, and evolved from monitors to boot; with more than 30 ft in total length, the ultimate size-record belongs definitively to them. Along with ''Megalania'' and the Komodo dragon, mosasaurs are the only "giant lizards" which are TruthInTelevision. But wait… we've still forgotten something: yeah, anacondas and reticulated pythons. See below.

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* Contrary to turtles and crocodilians, lizards' fossil record is extremely poor: their gracile skeletons do not usually fossilize. Ironically, the best preserved lizard remains known so far were discovered... into other creatures' rib cages. It's particularly famous the case of ''Bavarisaurus'', a small Jurassic lizard found into the first discovered ''Compsognathus'' skeleton. We don't know exactly which kind of modern lizards lived already in the Age of Dinosaurs: we're sure there were at least geckos, monitors, and proto-iguanas; while chameleons seem to be a recent evolution, after the non-avian dinosaur extinction, derived from iguana-like ancestors. Lizards occupied the same niche ruled by mammals and the apparently similar land crocs, as small insectivores or omnivores. Many modern lizards are still compared with dinosaurs, or even passed off as "mini-dinosaurs", in documentaries and pop books; ironically, just because they were used in the past as a model for the early dinosaur paintings and models. This spread the popular notion that ''all'' prehistoric reptiles were nothing but "giant lizards": a notion then adopted by films, comics and whatnot, which has given to us the {{Slurpasaur}} trope. But lizards actually pertain to a ''very different'' group of reptiles than dinosaurs and even crocodiles (both archosaurs); this group is called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squamata squamates]] (literally "the scaly ones"). Together with the sphenodonts (see below), squamates form in turn the lepidosaurs. One may even hear the largest modern lizards ''literally'' passed off as dinosaurs in documentaries or other non-fictional works; the predestined victim is, obviously, the large monitor lizard called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragon Komodo dragon]]. The astonishing thing is, our Indonesian "dragon" did have in the recent past a close Australian relative much, much larger than itself: ''Megalania'' was 20 ft long, ''twice as long as its Komodo kin''; like its contemporary (this was a modern animal that lived with and was wipe rout by humans) it was highly intelligent, as smart as most carnivorous mammals, was a fast runner, had shark-like teeth, produced venom, and lived ''just 50000 years ago''. It was, arguably, one of the most powerful predators of its habitat (but don't forget the contemporary marsupial lion: though not larger than a lion, some scientists think it was the most efficient mammalian predator ever, maybe even capable to [[BadAss kill a fully-grown Megalania if it was lucky!]]).lucky!). ''Megalania'' is by far the largest lizard that ever lived. But wait... have we forgotten something? Yeah, the mosasaurs. It's so easy to forget this, but they ''were'' true lizards, and evolved from monitors to boot; with more than 30 ft in total length, the ultimate size-record belongs definitively to them. Along with ''Megalania'' and the Komodo dragon, mosasaurs are the only "giant lizards" which are TruthInTelevision. But wait… we've still forgotten something: yeah, anacondas and reticulated pythons. See below.
9th Jun '16 7:36:54 PM CJCroen1393
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Supercrocs weren't only Cretaceous things: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcosuchus Sarcosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinosuchus Deinosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphosuchus Rhamphosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purussaurus Purussaurus]]'', and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegisuchus Aegisuchus]]''

* Let's start with giant freshwater crocodylomorphs, [[RuleOfCool for obvious reasons]]. ''Deinosuchus'' ("terrible croc", also called ''Phobosuchus'' "fearsome croc") belonged to the eusuchians, aka the “true crocodilians”. These gigantic gators appeared only in the Cretaceous but had the same anatomy we can still see today. More precisely, it was closer to alligators and caimans than to true crocodiles, hence the nickname "giant alligator". Like gators, the ''Deinosuchus''' skull had wide strong jaws and relatively blunt teeth. Its head was as long as a fully grown man, but the length of its body is unknown because the skull is the only left remain. Comparing with modern alligators, ''Deinosuchus'' could have reached 15m in length and weighed more than a ''Tyrannosaurus''. Its home were freshwater basins in Late Cretaceous North America, but could also have frequented the inland sea that divided the continent at the time. Since its fossil is from 75 mya, ''Deinosuchus'' could not have lived long enough to meet ''T. rex'' in RealLife, but only the latter's smaller relatives. ''Sarcosuchus'' ("meat-eating croc") was not an Eusuchian but only a crocodylomorph distantly related with true crocodilians. Its shape was that of a gigantic gharial, with long thin jaws and numerous needle-like teeth. First found in Cretaceous Northern Africa in the same habitat of ''Spinosaurus'', it was recently found also in South America, where ''Giganotosaurus'' roamed. 15 m long, ''Sarcosuchus'' was basically the same bulk of these giant theropods. Recently CGI documentaries have popularized the ''Deino-'' and the ''Sarco-'' ''-suchus'' with the nickname “supercrocs”. Given their size they could have eaten giant dinosaurs if they’d the chance, and some portraits show them [[BadAss defeating even the biggest theropods]]. In RealLife, it's more likely such powerful predators tried to avoid each other, but Deinosuchus is known to have attacked living tyrannosaurs (shown by a leg bone that healed after the bite). Few of us know, however, that two enormous crocs lived just ''few million years ago'', in full Mammal Age, when the first hominids just started their evolutionary journey: the gharial-like ''Rhamphosuchus'' from India and the cayman-like ''Purussaurus'' from South America. And they were at least as big as (if not bigger than) the two dinosaur-eating docu-stars. The recently (2012) discovered ''Aegisuchus'' might have been even larger: measurements of its skull (which was larger than a human by itself) suggest an animal over 20 metres long, making ''Aegisuchus'' [[UpToEleven the longest predator to ever live]]. Although it's much more probable that its skull was larger in comparison to its body than other crocodylomorphs.

to:

Supercrocs weren't only Cretaceous things: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcosuchus Sarcosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinosuchus Deinosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhamphosuchus Rhamphosuchus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purussaurus Purussaurus]]'', and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegisuchus Aegisuchus]]''

* Let's start with giant freshwater crocodylomorphs, [[RuleOfCool for obvious reasons]]. ''Deinosuchus'' ("terrible croc", also called ''Phobosuchus'' "fearsome croc") belonged to the eusuchians, aka the “true crocodilians”. These gigantic gators appeared only in the Cretaceous but had the same anatomy we can still see today. More precisely, it was closer to alligators and caimans than to true crocodiles, hence the nickname "giant alligator". Like gators, the ''Deinosuchus''' skull had wide strong jaws and relatively blunt teeth. Its head was as long as a fully grown man, but the length of its body is unknown because the skull is the only left remain. Comparing with modern alligators, ''Deinosuchus'' could have reached 15m in length and weighed more than a ''Tyrannosaurus''. Its home were freshwater basins in Late Cretaceous North America, but could also have frequented the inland sea that divided the continent at the time. Since its fossil is from 75 mya, ''Deinosuchus'' could not have lived long enough to meet ''T. rex'' in RealLife, but only the latter's smaller relatives. ''Sarcosuchus'' ("meat-eating croc") was not an Eusuchian but only a crocodylomorph distantly related with true crocodilians. Its shape was that of a gigantic gharial, with long thin jaws and numerous needle-like teeth. First found in Cretaceous Northern Africa in the same habitat of ''Spinosaurus'', it was recently found also in South America, where ''Giganotosaurus'' roamed. 15 m long, ''Sarcosuchus'' was basically the same bulk of these giant theropods. Recently CGI documentaries have popularized the ''Deino-'' and the ''Sarco-'' ''-suchus'' with the nickname “supercrocs”. Given their size they could have eaten giant dinosaurs if they’d the chance, and some portraits show them [[BadAss defeating even the biggest theropods]]. In RealLife, it's more likely such powerful predators tried to avoid each other, but Deinosuchus ''Deinosuchus'' (who can be found [[StockDinosaursNonDinosaurs here]]) is known to have attacked living tyrannosaurs (shown by a leg bone that healed after the bite). Few of us know, however, that two enormous crocs lived just ''few million years ago'', in full Mammal Age, when the first hominids just started their evolutionary journey: the gharial-like ''Rhamphosuchus'' from India and the cayman-like ''Purussaurus'' from South America. And they were at least as big as (if not bigger than) the two dinosaur-eating docu-stars. The recently (2012) discovered ''Aegisuchus'' might have been even larger: measurements of its skull (which was larger than a human by itself) suggest an animal over 20 metres long, making ''Aegisuchus'' [[UpToEleven the longest predator to ever live]]. Although it's much more probable that its skull was larger in comparison to its body than other crocodylomorphs.
6th May '16 3:07:16 PM Michal
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* One of the strangest marine reptiles ever discovered, this Triassic creature had a body structure similar to that of the aforementioned ''Placodus''. But that's not what so strange about this guy. The name means "Unusual dentation", and for good reason: the creature's upper mandible was [[http://scinews.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Atopodentatus_unicus.jpg split into a strange zipper-like structure!]] Judging by its jaws and teeth, it was most likely a filter feeder instead of an active predator, swimming into shallow waters to prey on small microscopic organisms.

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* One of the strangest marine reptiles ever discovered, this Triassic creature had a body structure similar to that of the aforementioned ''Placodus''. But that's not what so strange about this guy. The name means "Unusual dentation", and for good reason: it was originally assumed that the creature's upper mandible was [[http://scinews.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Atopodentatus_unicus.jpg split into a strange zipper-like structure!]] Judging by its jaws and teeth, structure.]] Two new specimens [[http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/5/e1501659 described in 2016]] showed that the processes of the mandible thought to form a zipper-like structure actually faced laterally, giving the animal's head a hammerhead-like shape. Before 2016 it was most interpreted as likely a filter feeder instead of an active predator, swimming into shallow waters to prey on small microscopic organisms.
organisms. The 2016 discoveries suggest it might have actually been a herbivore, scraping algae off the substrate underwater.
24th Apr '16 6:57:36 PM TVRulezAgain
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* After ''Dimetrodon'', ''Edaphosaurus'' is the only "pelycosaur" which has some possibilities to appear in non-documentary media - at least indirectly: sometimes ''Dimetrodon''s with a sail more similar to ''Edaphosaurus'' are seen in fictional works, ex. in TheLandBeforeTime movie. A bit larger than ''Dimetrodon'', ''Edaphosaurus'' was very similar to the latter, with a sail on its back, long tail and splayed legs. Its sail was bigger and more complex however: it had a more rounded shape and its spines had regularly-placed tubercles for uncertain purpose. ''Edaphosaurus'' head was much smaller than ''Dimetrodon'' and with round teeth all with the same shape. With this dentition, it was arguably herbivorous, but could also have eaten shellfish according to some. Living alongside ''Dimetrodon'' in Late Permian North America, ''Edaphosaurus'' is sometimes shown in paleo art as one of its possible preys. This could be realistic, even though ''Dimetrodon'' almost certainly hunted young ''Edaphosaurus'' more often than the powerful adults.

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* After ''Dimetrodon'', ''Edaphosaurus'' is the only "pelycosaur" which has some possibilities to appear in non-documentary media - at least indirectly: sometimes ''Dimetrodon''s with a sail more similar to ''Edaphosaurus'' are seen in fictional works, ex. in TheLandBeforeTime WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime movie. A bit larger than ''Dimetrodon'', ''Edaphosaurus'' was very similar to the latter, with a sail on its back, long tail and splayed legs. Its sail was bigger and more complex however: it had a more rounded shape and its spines had regularly-placed tubercles for uncertain purpose. ''Edaphosaurus'' head was much smaller than ''Dimetrodon'' and with round teeth all with the same shape. With this dentition, it was arguably herbivorous, but could also have eaten shellfish according to some. Living alongside ''Dimetrodon'' in Late Permian North America, ''Edaphosaurus'' is sometimes shown in paleo art as one of its possible preys. This could be realistic, even though ''Dimetrodon'' almost certainly hunted young ''Edaphosaurus'' more often than the powerful adults.
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