Named By: Yang - 1964.
Synonyms: Ornithocephalus rhamphastinus, Pterodactylus cristatus.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Dsungaripteroidea, Germanodactylidae.
Species: G. cristatus (type).
Type: Piscivore. Some consider Germanodactylus to have specialised in eating shellfish.
Size: Up to 1 meter wingspan.
Known locations: Germany. United Kingdom.
Time period: Kimmeridgian to Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.
the main feature of interest to researchers of Germanodactylus
head crest. Although quite unremarkable compared to some other
pterosaurs like Nyctosaurus
it is a good example of
the early forms that seem to be more common to the more advanced
pterodactyloid pterosaurs. The crest itself is best known from the bony
growth that rises from the top of its skull. In 2002, S. Cristopher
Bennet realised that this growth was merely the base for a much larger
crest that was made from soft tissue. By having a crest made of soft
tissue, probably keratin, Germanodactylus may have
had a crest that
actively changed colour to be more vivid during the breeding season.
In 2017 a former species of Germanodactylus, G. rhamphastinus, was renamed as its own genus, Altmuehlopterus.
-Soft tissue preservation of the cranial crest of the pterosaur Germanodactylus from Solnhofen. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22 (1): 43–48. - S. Christopher Bennet - 2002.
- Juvenile specimens of the pterosaur Germanodactylus cristatus, with a revision of the genus. - Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26 (4): 872–878. - S. Christopher Bennet - 2006.