Campylognathoides

Name: Campylognathoides ‭(‬Curved jaw‭)‬.
Phonetic: Cam-py-log-nath-oy-des.
Named By: Strand‭ ‬-‭ ‬1928.‭
Synonyms: Pterodactylus liasicus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Rhamphorhynchoidea,‭ ‬Campylognathoididae,‭ ‬Campylognathoidinae.
Species: C.‭ ‬zitteli‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬liasicus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬indicus‭ (‬This species has been questioned‭)‬.
Type: Piscivore.
Size: C. liasicus about 90 centimetre wingspan, C. zitteli about 180 centimetre wingspan.
Known locations: Germany.‭ ‬Possibly India depending upon the validity of C.indicus.
Time period: Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Many individual specimens.

       Campylognathoides was much like the other basal pterosaurs that flew in the skies of Jurassic Europe.‭ ‬It is also probably that Campylognathoides shared the skies with the well-known pterosaur Dorygnathus as evidenced by the presence of both pterosaurs in the same fossil beds.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬although usually depicted as a fish hunting piscivore,‭ ‬Campylognathoides may have had different prey in mind to avoid direct competition with Dorygnathus.‭ ‬Good justification for this view can be seen in the shorter jaws of Campylognathoides which are less suited to plucking fish out of the water while on the wing.‭ ‬An alternative is that while Campylognathoides did live in coastal areas as evidenced by the fossil sites,‭ ‬it may not have been restricted to them.‭ ‬Also while living at the coast,‭ ‬it may have hunted for land animals,‭ ‬or even lived the life of a beach comber,‭ ‬feeding upon whatever the previous tide had washed in.
       Like in other rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs,‭ ‬the caudal vertebra of the tail were lashed firm by tendons,‭ ‬and presumably used as a steering aid in flight,‭ ‬something that is thought to be quite possible because the base of the tail is still flexible.‭ ‬While the actual arms are short,‭ ‬Campylognathoides still achieved a long wing by having an exceptionally long fourth digit,‭ ‬the finger that actually made the outer trailing edge in pterosaur wings.
       One of the Campylognathoides species,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬indicus may yet prove to be non-existent.‭ ‬This is because C.‭ ‬indicus was based only on a partial jaw that may yet prove to not belong to a pterosaur at all.‭ ‬Also the Kota Formation that it was recovered has since been found to represent a different period in Earth history.‭ ‬Also C.‭ ‬liasicus has also been considered to be the same as C.‭ ‬zittelli on the principal that it may represent a younger specimen.‭ ‬Unfortunately the type specimen of C.‭ ‬liasicus is poorly preserved and the juvenile stages of C.‭ ‬zitteli are not well known like they are in other pterosaurs such as Rhamphorhynchus.‭ ‬Without more juvenile becoming known,‭ ‬it is almost impossible to say that C.‭ ‬liasicus is the juvenile form of C.zitteli,‭ ‬and for the time being at least,‭ ‬it is still treated as a separate species.

Further reading
- Campylognathus Zitteli, ein neuer Flugsaurier aus dem obersten Lias Schwabens. - Paläontographica 41. - F. Plieninger - 1894.



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