genus of reptiles (fossil)

Coloborhynchus was a pterosaur. It has been found in Lower Cretaceous rocks in England and Brazil. It is a similar genus to Anhanguera and Ornithocheirus.

Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 140–93.9 Ma
Coloborhynchus clavirostris.jpg
Holotype jaw fragment of C. clavirostris in multiple views
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ornithocheiridae
Subfamily: Ornithocheirinae
Genus: Coloborhynchus
Owen, 1874
Type species
Coloborhynchus clavirostris
Owen, 1874
Other species
  • C. capito?
    (Seeley, 1869)
  • C. fluviferox?
    Jacobs et al., 2019

The type specimen of Coloborhynchus is known only from a partial upper jaw. It can only be distinguished from its relatives by its unique combination of tooth socket positions. In Coloborhynchus, the two front teeth pointed forward and were higher on the jaw than the other teeth, while the next three pairs of teeth pointed to the sides. The final two pairs of teeth in this specimen point downward. Finally, a unique oval depression was located below the first pair of teeth.[1]

The possible species Coloborhynchus capito is the largest toothed pterosaur known. A specimen from the Cambridge Greensand has a very large upper jaw tip which displays the typical teeth which distinguish C. capito from other species. The jaw tip is nearly 10 cm tall and 5.6 cm wide, with teeth up to 1.3 cm in base diameter. If the proportions of this specimen was the same as other known species of Coloborhycnhus, the total skull length could have been up to 75 cm, leading to an estimated wingspan of 7 metres (23 ft).[2]


  1. Rodrigues T. and Kellner A.W.A. 2008. Review of the pterodactyloid pterosaur Colobrohynchus. 219–228 in: Hone D.W.E. and Buffetaut E. (eds) Flugsaurier: pterosaur papers in honour of Peter Wellnhofer. Zitteliana B, 28.
  2. Martill D.M. and Unwin D.M. 2011. The world's largest toothed pterosaur, NHMUK R481, an incomplete rostrum of Coloborhynchus capito (Seeley 1870) from the Cambridge Greensand of England. Cretaceous Research, (advance online publication). doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.09.003