Fossil range: Late TriassicLate Jurassic
Rhamphorynchus-gemmingi jconway
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
(unranked) Archosauria
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Rhamphorhynchoidea*
Plieninger, 1901

The Rhamphorhynchoidea forms one of the two suborders of pterosaurs and regroup the primitive members of this group of flying reptiles. This suborder is paraphyletic in relation to the Pterodactyloidea, which arose from within the Ramphorhynchoidea, not from a more distant common ancestor. Ramphorhynchoids were the first pterosaurs to have appeared, in the late Triassic Period. Unlike their descendants the pterodactyloids, most rhamphorhynchoids had teeth and long tails, and most species lacked a bony crest, though several are known to have crests formed from soft tissue like keratin. They were generally small, and their fingers were still adapted to climbing [citation needed]. They disappeared at the end of the Jurassic period.



Listing of families and superfamilies within the suborder Rhamphorhynchoidea, after Unwin 2006.


Cladogram after Unwin (2003). For alternate cladograms, see List of pterosaur classifications. In phylogenetic taxonomy, "rhamphorhynchoids" consist of all basal (primitive) pterosaurs that do not belong to the clade Pterodactyloidea.

                          |      |--Scaphognathinae
                          |      `--Rhamphorhynchinae


  • Unwin, D. M., (2003). "On the phylogeny and evolutionary history of pterosaurs." In Buffetaut, E. & Mazin, J.-M., eds. Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs. London: Geological Society of London, Special Publications 217, 2003, pp. 139-190.
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