Critter of the Month: Dimorphodon

Meet Douglas. He’s excited to meet you!  This bundle of energy may not be the best of flyers, but he loves to clamber all over things…rocks, trees, the couch, you… 😉

Douglas the Dimorphodon chases after something.

The little girl clung tightly to the small creature, his wings folded close against his furry body. His back paws dangled loosely down by her legs, but he didn’t seem to mind. He gazed up at her pink, rounded face with the wide-eyed curiosity of a bird as she chattered about lizards and the rough bark on the pine trees that bordered the fenced backyard.

The bag hanging from her shoulder bounced a little against the velvety fuzz of his leg, and he wriggled. Her short arms loosened around his leathery wings, and the bag slid down to her elbow.

“No Douglas,” she said, her lower lip puckered out in a focused frown. “Have to be patient.” She half dragged the creature and bag across the lawn until they reached the center of the yard.

The little girl set Douglas down on the grass, and he poked his overlarge head through the crook of her arm as she dug into the bag. She giggled and took out a neon yellow tennis ball. Douglas chirped and hopped up and down on his mismatched feet and winged arms, his long tail bouncing like a tiny red flag behind him.

The little girl’s face lit up in a smile of little pearls, and his eyes followed the ball as she held her hand up. She threw the ball, and he raced after the neon yellow orb like a dog after a squirrel. He was fast for an animal with wings for front legs. Every time the girl threw the ball he darted after it, using his flag of a tail and an outstretched wing for sharp turns. Again and again she threw the ball, and sometimes he’d catch it in midair with his needle sharp teeth. Then she clapped her hands and screamed with glee, her curled pigtails bouncing.

The next time she threw the ball, it dropped a few feet from her and rolled through the soft ferns and moss. Douglas caught it just before it rolled past a thin pine tree, but dropped it as soon as the little girl reached into her bag again. He scampered to her side just as she pulled out her hand with something in her closed fist. It was small, wrinkly, and looked a little like a stick.

Oh, oh, oh! Douglas chirped and jumped off the ground with his wings into a soaring leap. The little girl squealed in both delight and terror as the outspread wings and sharp little teeth soared up towards her hand, and she tossed the treat quickly towards him. Douglass caught it in midair and landed at her feet with folded wings, swallowing the treat with a quick backwards jab of his head.

The little girl carefully picked up Douglass around his wings and middle, his legs dangling. She left the empty bag laying in the ferns and grass, and a yard full of tennis balls behind them.

A little girl carries Douglas and a bag full of tennis balls.

Making progress…

It’s been a great month! At least as far as progress on the blog and story collection is concerned, not the outside world lol. If you’re American, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. It’s important to be thankful for the little things as well as the big things, because it can be so easy for small moments to pass us by unnoticed.

So I’m very grateful and happy for the success I’ve had this month. In the early portion of the month I dedicated my time to the Fossil Friday posts, so that a couple weeks in I actually had a buffer! Halfway through the month I had all posts for the month scheduled and I could focus on the short story collection. Which was awesome, because that meant I made a lot of progress there too. Take a look!

Short stories and all accompanying illustrations for the collection are done!
This one is complete!
So many little checkmarks! I’m working on finishing the pictures for them now. 🙂

Fossil Friday will be temporarily put on hold for the months of December and January, but I’ll still post the Critter-of-the-Month on the 1st as always, to let you know how things are going. December is always super busy in real life for me, you know, with 5 kids and all 😉 , but I’m also the matron-of-honor for my sister-in-law’s wedding on January 2nd! So busy, busy month ahead. I want to dedicate any tiny snippets of time in between all that to finishing the collection once and for all. This project has taken an entire year so far, and I know it’s because I haven’t made it a priority. I’ve tried multitasking, but it’s not really working as well as I’d hoped.

So here’s the game plan.

December- Enjoy the Christmas season with my family, prepare for the wedding, and finish the collection for reals. 😀

January- Wedding! Publish the collection (hopefully, we’ll see just how busy December is) and plan the next year.

See you January 1st! As usual, the evaluation of the past year and plans for the coming year will be in February’s Critter of the Month. 🙂

Coming Jan 1st…

This big guy loves to eat and have fun! Even better if he can play a game to win a snack! 🙂

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

4 thoughts on “Critter of the Month: Dimorphodon

  1. Hi, Patricia.

    Good to see Douglas back. A little side note, Douglas is spelled with a second s at least twice. I am appreciative with your progress, it really you focus on upcoming projects. I know it has been eight months since your last Dilophosaurus post, but have you update Picasso with the 2020 Dilophosaurus makeover? If not, that is recommended is you want your pals to be up-to-date. I wonder what each word (text, map, picture) means, and I would like to see what text you’ll have on those two pterosaurs missing their text. For me, school is a priority, but my prehistoric animal collection is a growing place. Within last month, I received the CollectA Rajasaurus, Mojo Dunkleosteus, Safari ltd Ankylosaurus (the one from 2018), and the Terra by Battat Cryolophosaurus. I am still in the process of recreating my collection, but I hope I get it done before the holidays.

    For the next COTM post, I think Dippy is next. That description matches him the most.

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    1. Hi Angel, thank you for stopping by! Thank you for spotting the typos, it helps to have many eyes on this as I prepare it for publishing. 🙂

      I have considered updating Picasso, but I’m on the fence at the moment because those kinds of changes take time, and I really need to have this project done. If I stop to update things every time new research makes my reconstruction out of date, then I’d never move on to a new project. I will definitely have a small “bonus” drawing with the updated reconstruction, perhaps with a small “fun fact” about how our knowledge is constantly changing. It really depends on how quickly I can finish what I have.

      James Gurney, author of the Dinotopia series, was asked if he would ever update his books to reflect the changing image of dinosaurs. He concluded that it simply was not practical, plus it is a good thing to acknowledge where one may be out of date, to look back and see how our knowledge grows over time and appreciate the discovery of that knowledge. Of course my simple style is not really comparable to James Gurney, but I know I will continue to reconstruct Dilophosaurus and other favorites many times (especially since Dilophosaurus is one of my personal favs. I draw it a lot!), and new drawings and illustrations will reflect the latest research I have available at the time.

      For the moment we can say that Picasso is young enough that he doesn’t have a fully developed crest yet, or individual variation from domestication. Soft tissue and crests are highly variable, just take a look at cassowaries. 🙂

      The words on the chart represent the elements I need to complete the “bonus” section of the collection. After each short story, I have a small section that includes a little information on the “wild” species of the featured creature followed by basic information for the care and keeping of the domestic variety. This includes illustrations and a map showing where the “wild” species came from. All creatures have their map illustrations done, and most have their flavor text, but almost all need the illustrations that will accompany that text.

      As for the COTM, Dippy is correct! 🙂

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      1. Well, if updating takes so much research that it may as well be impractical, that is alright. After all, it might have been accurate at its time. Also, portraying Picasso as a sub-adult is actually a very good thing. He will grow within a period of time, and when you think he’s mature enough, you could try the 2020 makeover. Also, we have a holotype skeleton that is virtually complete, so it is not much effort. And thanks for the explanation on the words. Speaking of updates that just missed the most modern version, some of Safari’s newer figures fit this description.

        And one more final thing: I posted a comment on I believe the FF Torvosaurus post of an A to Z list of Jurassic animals. Where there any you previously have not heard of?

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        1. In the case of Dilophosaurus it’s not so much the research, but the time it takes to alter the illustrations I’ve already done. Simple pencil is not too complicated, since it’s just redrawing the head, but the colored illustration has multiple layers of light, color, and shadow, and is much more complex to change. Not impossible, just time consuming.

          There are many Jurassic creatures I’d never heard of before, especially the more obscure not-dinosaurs, so there are a few on your list I didn’t know about. I would be selling myself short if I said I don’t know much about prehistoric critters, because I definitely know a lot, but that knowledge is very broad and I certainly don’t know everything. What would be the fun in that? I’m sure even among paleontologists there are many species that they don’t know about outside of the field they specialize in. That’s why we dive into research. 🙂

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