Critter of the Week: Pterodactylus

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

terry-update

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

She might not look it, but this little pterosaur (not dinosaur), is very good at walking and running around on the ground.  She spends a lot of her time poking her sensitive snout in the dirt for all sorts of burrowing creepy crawlies.  When she feels one, she nabs it with her 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.

Making progress…

Terry finally got an update!  When I first illustrated her, I wasn’t sure whether she had a hard beak or a soft snout.  So I just went with what research I had and took a speculative guess.  I figured I could always change it later anyway. 🙂

Here’s the old version with the beak.

Terry.png

Now I own Pterosaurs, a book written by the pterosaur expert (and amazing paleo artist) Mark P. Witton.  I’m taking my time to digest it thoroughly, especially since I didn’t know very much about pterosaurs before, and when I’m done I’ll be writing a review. 🙂

Which brings me to a couple more updates…

Updated home page illustration is complete!  Or at least as complete as it can be without just working it to death.  I’ve provided the old version just for fun comparison.  Enjoy! 🙂

homepage-update_flat

home page picture

I’ll be adding new pages on the site. 

  • Resource page- where I will share my research sources, like books, websites, and papers I’ve read.
  • A book page- where I will showcase current books and books-in-progress.

Little by little everything is really coming together!  I should probably be working more on letting people know I exist. 😛

Coming Next Week…

This giant likes to bask in warm, sunny waters.  He’d be super easy to care for if only the tank didn’t need to be the size of the Mediterranean…

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

4 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Pterodactylus

    1. Thank you Brownie! I’m playing around with a new theme at the moment, and trying to get the portfolio feature working. I have enough art that I really needed to get a theme that would frame it nicely, instead of getting in the way. Maybe you can give me some tips, since you have that lovely little gallery over on your site. 😉

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