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Dimorphodon was a medium-sized (wingspan of about 4.5 feet) pterosaur that lived in the Early Jurassic Period (about 200 million years ago) in what is now the British Iles. Pterosaurs were the first reptiles to fly. Although superficially similar to modern bats and birds, they were not related to either group.
- History: Dimorphodon is one of the first discovered pterosaurs. The first skeletons were collected on the southeast coast of England in 1828. At first, paleontologists thought that it was Pterodactylus, a pterosaur recently found in Germany, but in 1858, the famous English anatomist Richard Owen realized that it was very different than Pterodactylus, and gave it a new name, Dimorphodon.
- Scientific Name: Dimorphodon, meaning ‘two form tooth’
- Characteristics: Dimorphodon, like most other early pterosaurs, still had teeth, and lacked the skull crest seen in later members of the group. It had an unusually large head, as this Dimorphodon toy shows, and two distinct types of teeth; long, fang-shaped teeth at the front of the jaws, and smaller, flattened, blade-like teeth at the back. This is unusual, as almost all reptiles have no more than one type of tooth in their jaws. Compared with later pterosaurs, the wings are fairly short (although Dimorphodon was a good flyer), and the neck was short and strong.
- Size: This Dimorphodon toy model is 5.75 inches long and has a 8.5 inch wingspan.
- The Dimorphodon is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection
- Non-toxic and BPA free
Ages 3 and up