Harpactognathus (meaning "seizing/grasping jaw") was a genus of pterosaur found in the Late Jurassic-age Morrison Formation of Albany County, Wyoming, USA. It is based on NAMAL 101, a partial skull consisting of the snout, recovered from near Bone Cabin Quarry in 1996. The species name honors the discoverer, Joe Gentry, a volunteer for the Western Paleontological Laboratories, in Lehi, Utah.[1]

Its describers found it to be most similar to Scaphognathus among pterosaurs, albeit substantially larger (estimated skull length of 280-300 mm (11-12 in), estimated wingspan of at least 2.5 m (8.2 ft)). Because of the similarity, Harpactognathus was assigned to the subfamily Scaphognathinae of the family Rhamphorhynchidae. This genus is also notable for having a low bony crest running all the way to the tip of the beak (pterosaur bone crests usually do not reach the tip) and for being the oldest known Morrison Formation pterosaur, having been found in the Salt Wash Member (Kimmeridgian).

The Land Before Time

Swooper is a old Harpactognathus. Harpactognathus is shown with having no teeth and lacking the prominence shown in on crest. The group of flyers is somewhat a cross between Pteranodon, Rhamphoryhcus and Tupuxuara, with it having a long tail that ends in a rutter, long conical shaped teeth and a prominent crest; It is by far the first flyer of its kind to appear in The Land Before Time. With only Swooper reflecting the species in its only appearance, it is implied that at least the males are a teal color matched with a grey beak, underbelly and a fiber collar around the neck (seen in throughout all the species of pterosaurs in The Land Before Time. This type of pterosaur only appears once in The Land Before Time, starring within the franchise's television series in the episode "The Hermit of Black Rock".