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Flightless Pterosaur of Doom

By Osmatar
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One of the last concept sketches I made for the Speculative Dinosar Project was this flightless pterosaur that I gave the working name Huykarra. The idea was originally inspired by a post by Darren Naish on his blog Tetrapod Zoology (ver 2), and developed independently by me and some other guys in the Spec project at the same time.

I'm not up to speed as to what is happening in Spec these days (if anything) but if they followed through with the idea, the flightless pterosaurs should now be cursorial megapredators in Spec Australia.

(Bonus feature for all you Finns: the name of this animal is intended to be pronounced "huikara" ;) ).
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© 2011 - 2020 Osmatar
Comments37
anonymous's avatar
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BusterBuizel's avatar
Depending on how big this is, this is either really terrifying or really hilarious
Osmatar's avatar
Azhdarchids were very odd creatures, and it just gets emphasized by the loss of flight membranes.
AntonellisofbBender's avatar
loss of flight membranes? why would that happen?
Osmatar's avatar
If the animal no longer flies, it makes sense to stop putting resources into growing excess tissue that is also in danger of being damaged. It might even seriously hinder movement on the ground. Flightless pterosaurs with reduced wings and membranes would be at an advantage in comparison to flightless pterosaurs that still have full wings. Reduction of wings is a common development in secondarily flightless animals, even ones as small as insects.
Inmyarmsinmyarms's avatar
Such is the path we took, though in my personal opinion pterosaurs wouldn't become flightless since they had more efficient take-offs than birds and the stage between "fully winged" and "fully wing membrane-less" would be awkward. Same reason they didn't in our timeline and neither did bats.
Bhurloka12's avatar
This may be weird to ask, but in the original Spec project; pterosaurs were omitted and I assume never lasted into the Eocene. This I understood since all the very Late Cretaceous pterosaurs were all enormous gliders and the double-whammy of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and the freezing of Antarctica later in the Eocene would have changed wind patterns which they relied on survival.

Maybe I'm overlooking some new evidence, but I wasn't sure if anything new encouraged the survival of the pterosaurs in Spec after all those years..
Inmyarmsinmyarms's avatar
Azhdarchids were found to be a really successful lineage of terrestrial predators instead of relictual albatross things as they were seen years ago.
PerfectChaos22's avatar
how would it deal with large carnivorous dinosaurs?
Osmatar's avatar
By not living on the same continent. The flightless pterosaurs were supposed to evolve in Australia following the extinction of all large-bodied carnivores. 
Unarla's avatar
Wow this is brilliant:D
I'm looking for people who would like to join my group CreaturesOfTradition 
Would you be interested? :o
Wynterhawke07's avatar
This looks awesome, but it's not a unique concept: [link] - unless he's part of the SDP-group as well.
Osmatar's avatar
Flightless pterosaurs actually are a very old concept. Dougal Dixon came up with them in his book "The New Dinosaurs", and my concept here is based on Darren Naish's blog post on the subject of hypothetical Azhdarchid flightlessness (for which the link in the description doesn't seem to work :().
Wynterhawke07's avatar
The idea got me thinking about pterosaurs eventually evolving to fill some niches currently occupied by birds. A penguin-like pterosaur with wings adapted for swimming rather than flight would be interesting to see.
Osmatar's avatar
I honestly don't know if such a creature could evolve. Penguins (which you could say evolved twice convergently) began as flying birds that used their wings to dive underwater. Could a pterosaur have done the same? I don't even know that. But what really worries me is if a pterosaur could have launched itself back into the air from open water. They seem to have used their powerful forelimbs to propel themselves into the air with one big leap, rather than running on a surface and flapping their wings until they can lift off as birds do it. If launching from water was impossible for piscivorous pterosaurs, then I don't think there's any chance of them evolving underwater "flight" that would be a requisite for evolving a penguin-like lifestyle. Mark Witton would probably be the best man to ask about this subject.
Wynterhawke07's avatar
Aww... bummer. :( Oh, well. The terrestrial one is badass enough.
Aloodonguy67's avatar
Pristichampsus's avatar
I can't help but wonder what Brian Choo thinks of this idea. He was against pterosaurs in spec altogether, at least against anurognathids, and probably against flightless ones too. My view is perhaps have no flighted pterosaurs, and just a couple of oddball terrorsaurs, to keep it from being K with a new hat.
Wynterhawke07's avatar
Well, there's no pterosaurs in the SDP wiki, if that means anything. :?
Pristichampsus's avatar
that only means that the wiki has not been updated.
Osmatar's avatar
He's visited my gallery and surely seen this, but no comments yet. At least they're more than a new hat. More like new pants and a shirt. =P
anonymous's avatar
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