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Stereotypic Penguin Pterosaur

By Coelotitan
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This is an example for one of those speculative animals I´ve drawn several months ago and now I´m not sure whether to make it "canon" or not.


It´s the rather overused concept of squeezing a pterosaur into a bird niche. This is a relict Nyctosaurid which is endemic to the Caribbean islands where it fills the niche of penguins. Its wings are very small and now used to "fly" under water - as penguins do.


But just after I finished this picture I remembered there were fossil traces showing that pterosaurs swam using their paddle-like hind-feet so a flightless marine pterosaur would probably end up using its feet for propulsion like a Hesperornithid and not look just like a penguin with a pterosaur head......
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malevouvenator's avatar
Coelotitan's avatar
Apart from being a penguin-like pterosaur not really, this one has neither teeth nor wing claws and a larger membrane between the wings, the body and the legs.
Yes, marine pterosaurs would probably use their hind feet as the propulsive organs, kind of 'paddling' through the water, not 'flying'. This kind of swimming may make it plausible for pterosaurs to move on to colder, deeper waters, since Johnfaa points out that pterosaurian wing membranes result in a serious obstacle in underwater insulation, and since hesperornithid pterosaurs don't need wing membranes for propulsion....