Friday, July 31, 2009


Whew, it sure took a while, almost a month late, but these were my INTENDED submissions for the Pterosaur gallery. It's not easy doing three of these but one was already begun YEARS earlier just for fun, and I decided to revamp it, and the other two were far too tempting not to do. (Check out the full story here.) Pterosaurs get exponentially more fascinating as we learn more about them. So here's what I ended up with:

Thalassodromeus and other mid-Cretaceous pterosaurs over South America
(Larger version HERE.)

Here, the spectacular crested pterosaur Thalassodromeus soar over a herd of Argyrosaurus. Ornithocheirus and Tapejara are also present. This perspective was tricky since I wanted to capture a bit of "telephoto lens" effect with the vertical axis especially beneath the mountain.

Quetzalcoatlus - Sailors of the skies
(Larger version HERE.)

Not much to explain here. The giant azdarchids are soaring over a floodplain with three Alamosaurus below. The hardest part of this thing was the landscape, not the animals.

Anurognathus - the Definitive Version.
(Larger version HERE.)

Say what you will about this odd little pterosaur - I wasn't satisfied with any of the existing restorations of this fellow, so I did my own. Not the typical bat-like image most artists do, but something a lot more mobile and nimble in dense forests. I largely consulted Mike Hansen's skeletals for reference, but I tweaked the proportions a little bit to make the neck less snaky, and put the pteroid bones in a more extended position (I don't endorse this for most pterosaurs but in the case of tiny Anurognathus, I can see how it could have been useful for increasing thrust and lift rapidly). I also put some fuzz on the ankles, using the type specimen of the closely related Jeholopterus for inspiration.

As ugly as this genus seems, I can't help but adore that little fuzzy face.