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ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

DIMORPHODON
"Two-form tooth"


ANATOMY

Dimorphodon (meaning "two-form tooth") was a pterosaur with a 4 feet (1.2 m) long wingspan. It was not a dinosaur, but type of extinct, flying reptile. It had a huge head with deep, wide, toothed jaws resembling the beak of the modern-day puffin, a short neck, and a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end of the long, pointed tail. Its disproportionately large head may have been for courtship rituals.

Unlike most other pterosaurs, Dimorphodon's legs sprawled out at the sides. making its walking gait clumsy. This might indicate that Dimorphodon spent much of its non-flying time hanging from cliffs or tree braches, holding on with its toe claws.

WHEN DIMORPHODON LIVED
Dimorphodon lived during the early Jurassic period.

DIET
Dimorphodon was a carnivore and probably ate fish.

LOCOMOTION
Dimorphodon flew well using large, light-weight wings. Its long, thin tail with a diamond-shaped flap of skin at the end helped stabilize it in flight.

CLASSIFICATION
Dimorphodon was a pterosaur, a flying reptile closely related to the dinosaurs. By definition, all dinosaurs were diapsid reptiles with an upright stance. Pterosaurs probably had a semi-upright stance, and were not dinosaurs. There is a small minority of paleontologists who think that the pterosaurs' stance could have been upright and that pterosaurs should therefore be included in the clade of dinosaurs (being derived theropods). Either way, dinosaurs and pterosaurs are certainly closely related.

Dimorphodon was a: DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Dimorphodon fossils have been found in England. It was named by paleontologist R. Owen in 1859.

PTEROSAUR LINKS
A first-grade level Pterosaur addition activity print-out.
Pterosaurs from the UCMP, Berkeley.




Information Sheets About Dinosaurs
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the dinosaur you're interested in isn't here, check the Dinosaur Dictionary or the list of Dinosaur Genera. Names with an asterisk (*) were not dinosaurs.
How to write a great dinosaur report.

For dinosaur printouts, click here.

For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.




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