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jconway's avatar

Nyctosaurus sp

For those who don't know, this is the rather spectacular crested Nyctosaurus--a medium-sized pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous.

I did picture of this pair a few years back [link] where I put sails on them, to go with the skim-sailing hypothesis that was so hot right then. It's not so hot right now, so this is an un-sailed version (which is based on an old painting I did at the same time, but never uploaded anywhere). I've extended the rear-facing prong somewhat, as it seems there were extra bits that weren't obvious in the original description.
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MAD-KNIGHT's avatar
What is the general consensus about Nyctosaurus' crest now? Was it a sail or an antler? 
Dinolover1416's avatar
This might sound awfully weird, but this kind of reminds me of an old airline poster, what with the colors of the animals and the pretty sky in the background.
Terizinosaurus's avatar
Heartbroken that this print isn't available! Any other places to get it?
I have this one on my wall :) Beautiful
greeni-studio's avatar
:) Hey cool composition! I love the graphic shape.
stormwrought's avatar
This is my favorite dinosaur. Bravo to the smooth forms and how it looks so old.
JohnFaa's avatar
Its not a dinosaur, its a pterosaur.
Michelle56's avatar
Beautiful! YAY Pterosaurs!
briankroesch's avatar
I read that it may have rarely ever landed due to lacking an extra claw that could help it climb around on land. I wonder then, now how could these animals have slept?
jconway's avatar
Yeah, well, I have no doubt they could land and shuffle about on land. Sure, their limb proportions would have made it awkward, but there's no reason to think the lack of digits I-II-III would have made it impossible to move around on the ground--they'd just walk on their big knuckle, nothing wrong with that.

Nyctosaurus are very similar to frigate birds in a lot of ways. Similar size, very big wings with a high aspect ratio, and ting legs (Nyctosaurus has proportionally thee smallest legs of any pterosaur buy a long shot), and probably limited ability in the water (unlike, say, albatrosses).
JohnFaa's avatar
Though AFAIK they lacked the same adaptations on the vertebrae that frigate birds have, which might mean that they'd have to use other method instead of picking things from the water surface on the wing
jconway's avatar
I'm not sure why it would be necessary to have the same adaptations frigate birds have to pick fish from the water--especially considering there's a huge difference between pterosaur and and bird necks.
JohnFaa's avatar
True, though wouldn't the more inflexible necks of pterosaurs be less efficient anyway?
jconway's avatar
I don't know. It's a very complicated thing, because pterosaurs also had a very different head.
Beautiful colors!
PaleoFreak's avatar
pearwood's avatar
Grace in tandem.
Gorgosaurus's avatar
Lovely work again, John.
I´ve a Pteranodon wip on my shelves right now with a lot of very dark grey-black dorsally like these two. Camouflage for some casting problems, solar energy trap and Black-backed gull look all at the same time.

I still can´t get my head around the aerodynamics of this head crest. It seems so incredible...

Dinosaur-Ryuzako's avatar
I've always been fascinated by this type, and they look so lovely here!
T-PEKC's avatar
Simple but perfect. Great job! :)
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