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January 3
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The Wicked Teeth of Rhamphorhynchus by Qilong The Wicked Teeth of Rhamphorhynchus by Qilong
With a jaw studded with an array of outward-splaying, large teeth, it behooved von Meyer to name a small group of newly-found pterosaurs from the Solnhofen beds of Bavaria, in southern Germany, Rhamphorhynchus, meaning "branching jaw." The jaw is short, broad at the back ends but fused at their anterior ends, and studded with well-spaced, elongate and curving teeth. They splay out to the sides as well as towards the front, and include a first maxillary tooth that is horizontally positioned, overlapping even the adjacent last premaxillary tooth. The tips of the jaws were toothless, and seemingly covered in a beak-like structure, so that is restored here.

It had been argued that rhamphorhynchids would have plowed through water like the Black Skimmer, Rhynchops niger, but this hypothesis has several biomechanical problems, the least of which is the near total lack of derived adaptations for resisting jaw-shearing forced brought about even by lowest possible speeds through water. Any slow, and the animal wouldn't be able to skim at all, but plop into the water. So the purpose of the odd jaw remains relatively unknown.

Depicted is Rhamphorhynchus muensteri, originally named as Ornithocephlaus muensteri by Georg August Goldfuß (Goldfuss) but was removed as the type species of Rhamphorhynchus a few decades later by Hermann von Meyer. However, the skull shown is actually a conglomeration of the "longicaudus" morph and several other morphs which were lumped into muensteri by studies performed by S. Christopher Bennett in 1995 and 1996. Now, all Rhampho specimens are typically considered a single growth series.
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've grown to like its face more and more.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
It's a funny face, but you gotta appreciate it's awesomeness ... in context of course.
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:iconraven-amos:
raven-amos Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Great restoration as always - I would love to see a frontal view of this so I can see what's going on with that beak. It looks almost like the tip is crossed like a crossbill's beak from this side view.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
I personally am not sure what is going on with the beak, but I have a decent idea. I will reveal this when it comes due and I get a little more research done on the topic.

As for a frontal view, it occurred to me that a multi-view perspective may be warranted, much as I endeavor to do with Anurognathus ammoni, to capture the craziness, but this would require even more guesswork as some of the data that would help this is not really available. I'll see what i can whip up.
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:iconraven-amos:
raven-amos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
That would be most excellent!
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
Scissoring beak tips? Now THAT's interesting!
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
It's the only way to make the jaws fit while "closed"!

It should really be about forceps, and what might happen if one tip was too large compared to the other. The Rhampho specimen the jaw tips are based on suggests the tips curve orally, and thus that they probably would cross one another slightly. Note also the jaws occlude before the tip comes into play.
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
So you're saying closing the jaws this far might not have been possible? 
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
No. They could close this far, but likely no further. Several specimens exist which show how far closed the jaws might get: the tips are always separated. This paper has the specimen that was the primary model for the illustration, and is preserved with the jaw (mostly or close to it) closed: www.plosone.org/article/info%3…
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student Artist
Looks nice and I like to see horny beak at the tip of the mouth.
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