One of the coolest things about paleontology is solving mysteries about the lives of animals from millions of years ago. Rhamphorhynchus was a flying reptile that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. The biggest one ever found is four feet long and had an almost-six-foot wingspan. And even though it lived during the Jurassic, millions of years before later dinosaurs like T. rex and Triceratops, scientists are able to tell what it ate based on clues in its fossils.

Rhamphorhynchus had long, slender jaws filled with sharp, needle-like teeth. These kinds of teeth, along with the shape of its jaws, suggested that it might be able to swoop down and snatch fish out of the water—think about the beak shape of a heron, or the snout of a gharial. Then, they found even stronger evidence to help confirm their suspicions—some Rhamphorhynchus fossils have fish fossils inside their bellies. Those Rhamphorhynchus must have died with a full stomach!

 

Illustration by ДиБгд 

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