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Batrachognathus

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Batrachognathus

Batrachognathus is an extinct genus of "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaur from the Late Jurassic of the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. The type species is Batrachognathus volans. The genus name is derived from Greek batrakhos, "frog" and gnathos, "jaw", in reference to the short wide head. The specific epithet means "flying" in Latin.

Description

Three fossils have been found in a lacustrine sediment in the North-West Tien Shan foothills of the Karatau Mountains. In the Jurassic this area had some similarities in habitat to the Solnhofen lagoon deposits in Bavaria, Germany. The genus is based on holotype PIN 52-2, an incomplete and disarticulated skeleton consisting of skull fragments, jaws, vertebrae, ribs, legs and wing bones. The skull of 48 mm (1.9 in) long is high, short and broad. The upper jaws have in total 22 or 24 recurved conical teeth; with the lower jaws they make a short and very wide mouth. The animal is not preserved with a tail. Whether it had one is debatable; usually it is assumed a short tail was present. The wingspan has been estimated at 50 cm (20 in); David Unwin in 2000 gave a higher estimate of 75 cm (30 in).Like all anurognathids Batrachognathus is assumed to have been an insectivore, catching insects on the wing with its broad mouth.

The Land Before Time

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Two Batrachognathuses

In The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving, two Batrachognathus are briefly seen fleeing from a fire in the Great Valley.

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