One of the rarest pterosaurs from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of southern Germany is Pterodactylus suevicus. Only two specimens are known: the holotype, consisting of a virtually complete skeleton described by Quenstedt (1855); and a second specimen, consisting of only postcranial elements described by Wagner (1858) and lost during World War II (Wellnhofer, 1970). Seeley (1870) noted that P. suevicus differed from P. antiquus, the type species of Pterodactylus, in a number of significant points. Therefore, he placed P. suevicus in a new genus, Cycnorhamphus. Seeley (1870:111) gave the following diagnosis of Cycnorhamphus:
“Nares very small, looking upward from a swan-like beak. The middle hole of the skull very large and elongated and lateral. Neck long. Wing-metacarpal long. Four joints in wing-finger. Ilium widening in front. Epipubic bones meeting mesially. The type is Pterodactylus suevicus (Quenstedt).”
The character “nares very small” was the result of a misinterpretation of depressions on the premaxillae that probably resulted from crushing, and “middle hole of the skull” referred to the confluent naris and antorbital fenestra, which Seeley apparently considered the antorbital fenestra alone.