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Anurognathus in flight



Anurognathus ammoni - the DEFINITIVE version.

This is the first truly high-fidelity restoration of Anurognathus anywhere, taking into account the rigorous skeletals done by Mike Hanson, a.k.a. Archosaurian: [link] [link]

The main difference is I shortened and thickened the neck a little bit, the fossil specimens don't seem to show such a long neck.

Anurognathus was a very small Late Jurassic pterosaur of the Rhamphorhynchoid clan.... unlike most members of this group, it had a very reduced, stubby tail that was useless as a rudder, but probably served as an attachment point for either wing membranes or leg membranes - a configuration that was echoed by the entirety of the Pterodactyloids, the other great clan of pterosaurs.

It was mainly an insect eater and probably lived in trees. One popular theory is that it hitched a symbiotic ride on the backs of giant sauropods like Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, eating the bugs that sucked their blood. Its strange whiskers may have been used for sensing very small disturbances in air flow caused by flying insects, or simply for raking them in towards the needle-sharp teeth.

Anurognathus had three very close relatives: Batrachognathus, Dendrorhynchoides, and Jeholopterus, the largest member of the Anurognathidae. All three were small and insectivorous. More distant relatives include the far older Dimorphodon and Peteinosaurus - both of which had large, puffin-like beaks and the primitive long tails typical of classic Rhamphorhynchoids. Anurognathus is known from both an adult and a juvenile specimen, a rare find for most species of small pterosaurs.

Pencil on paper, 8.5x11", 2009.
Image size
2550x3509px 2.49 MB
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