Critter of the Week: Pterodactylus

Meet Terry. He’s a chipper little guy who would love to scramble up onto your shoulder and nibble your ear (just a little nibble, it tickles).  And could he please, pretty please have a tiny bit of that sandwich?

 

Terry.png

 

Terry always likes a snack, especially small morsels like snails, grubs, and worms he digs up.  That sandwich looks quite tempting though, and he won’t turn his nose up at an opportunity to snatch it out of your hand, so keep an eye and a firm hold on it. 😀

He might not look it, but this little pterosaur (not dinosaur), is very good at walking and running around on the ground.  He spends a lot of his time poking his sensitive beak in the dirt for all sorts of burrowing creepy crawlies.  When he feels one, he nabs it with his tiny teeth and gulps it down.  Yum!

These flying reptiles have a layer of furry fuzz covering their bodies. To make a long (and possibly boring) story short, we know this covering is not fur, but we’re not 100% sure if it’s some kind of feather or not. It might be something totally new.  If the fuzzies are feathers, as some paleontologists suggest, then that says a lot for how many dinosaurs probably had feathers.  Pterosaurs aren’t dinosaurs, but they’re like 2nd cousins. 🙂

Also notice how the wings are not saggy skin.  The wings are actually super awesome (insane genius levels of cool!), and they deserve their own post, but I’ll try to give you the short version.  They’re “smart” wings with layers of muscle and inflatable air pockets, and they behave a bit like the wings on a plane.  I can tell you this for sure, they’re not anything like bird or bat wings.

Oh yes, one more thing.  The beak is speculation on my part.  I read a paleo article somewhere about the possibility of terries having beaks, so I figured I’d draw it and see how it looks.  I’ll have to do more research from more paleo experts to figure out if this is just a wild idea or actually plausible.

Just to clarify, this beak is a thin, keratinous layer over the skull, so not exactly like a bird’s beak.  Similar, but this little guy still has teeth. 🙂

 

Making progress…

Well, after about a month I’ve determined that trying to get a buffer down is failing.  All it takes is a little hiccup in the week, and then I’m back to working on my posts the weekend they’re due. 😛

So I’ll be trying something else to help streamline things.  Two posts  per week is a realistic number, so I can stick to that, but I think I’ll trying incorporating actual work on the picture book into my Monday posts. 🙂  That way I can make progress on the whole reason this site exists.

Critter of the Week is here to stay.  It’s too much fun!  And I like having a new critter to practice on each week. 🙂  So we’ll see what I can do for Monday.  Hehe, experiment time. 😀

 

Coming Next Week…

This little guy loves to curl up in his bed with his favorite teddy. 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! He’s one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Pterodactylus

  1. Hi Michael! Tis true, pterosaurs are such interesting animals, and they’re so under appreciated. People don’t know how much they’re missing out, focusing only on dinos. But we’ll fix that! 🙂

    That’s a good guess, since our mystery critter is a carnivore, but Alfred is too big. Our mystery critter is a much smaller critter. 🙂

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  2. I’ve always liked the line of pterosaurs. Quetzalcoatlus is such a strange critter! And they’re cool enough without the added fire-breathing abilities (I’m making a reference to a cheap dinosaur movie). :’3

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    1. Hi Brownie! Yeah, pterosaurs are too cool to miss out on…I mean, how much more awesomebro can you get than a giraffe-sized crane plummeting from the sky to pluck small dinosaurs off the ground?

      Ok, that’s an awesome bro stretch. But Quetzacoatlus & relatives are very interesting animals. 🙂

      Wow, and there’s a movie with a fire breathing pterosaur?! That’s crazy 😛 And I thought Jurrasic Park 3’s toothy Pteranodon carrying people off with it’s feet was bad. 😄

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