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Anurognathus in flight by Paleo-King Anurognathus in flight by Paleo-King
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.
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:icon12monkehs:
12monkehs Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
This must be the work of an 『E N E M Y    S T A N D U 』
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:iconthedubstepaddict:
TheDubstepAddict Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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:iconthedubstepaddict:
TheDubstepAddict Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Donate to UNICEF now
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:icontrilobitecannibal:
TrilobiteCannibal Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know this is really old.... but seriously wheres the beef
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:iconthedubstepaddict:
TheDubstepAddict Featured By Owner May 10, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Donate to UNICEF now
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:icontrilobitecannibal:
TrilobiteCannibal Featured By Owner May 10, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what is that
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:iconthedubstepaddict:
TheDubstepAddict Featured By Owner May 10, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
An organization helping kids in aftica
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:icontrilobitecannibal:
TrilobiteCannibal Featured By Owner May 13, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh :XD:
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:iconthedubstepaddict:
TheDubstepAddict Featured By Owner May 14, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lol
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:iconphiloceratops:
Philoceratops Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry to say, but its HEAVILY shrink-wrapped, and I would also recommend putting more pycnofibers...
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
you do realize how old this picture is, right?
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:iconphiloceratops:
Philoceratops Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh. Sorry!
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:iconbhut:
bhut Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015
One of the smallest pterosaurs ever!
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:icondavidpeters:
DavidPeters Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
PS the Hanson links are now broken, several years after your initial post.
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:icondavidpeters:
DavidPeters Featured By Owner May 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I echo some of Conway's thoughts and disagree with others. First, your rendering has great spark and life. You have most of the proportions right and morphology right, which is to your credit in today's world of experts steering us the wrong way. The legs are right, but the feet should be as long as the tibia. The free fingers are correctly oriented (palmar down) but the claws need to be much larger. The the medial tip of the curved pteroid should point directly at the deltopectoral crest when stretched in full flight.

I've been reexamining Anurognathus over at reptileevolution.com and pterosaurheresies.com lately, so I have evidence for what I'm saying here over there. The antorbital fenestra is longer and taller than the orbit. The neck is longer. The top half of the neck appears to dive into the matrix in situ. Like other anurognathids, this one probably had four wing phalanges, as Döderlein noted. They are hard to see. If you would reduce the chord of the wing so that the wing is stretched between the elbow and wing tip, then you've solve all sorts of engineering and folding problems, plus you'll duplicate the wing shape in all known pterosaur specimens. I agree with Conway about the musculature, concentrate it proximally. The Anurognathus fur covering is not nearly as fuzzy as in Jeholopterus, which is fuzzy for a non-thermal reason. With wing membranes preserved, there should be more pycnofibers, but there aren't.

I do like your technique. We're all learning, from the fossils and each other.
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:iconphiloceratops:
Philoceratops Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Dear David Peters, 
I was wondering if you could create a PDF of all your skeletals, as well as life reconstructions of them as well. I'd love to see your beautiful work in acrylics again, as I have read and cherished ALL of your books (GIANTS, Strange Creatures, and A Gallery of Dinosaurs are my favorites!). I've always wanted to tell you this, as you're one of my FAVORITE paleoartists (besides William Stout, who told me was your friend!)
Your fan,
Leonardo C. Gomez
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner May 8, 2013
Why did Dr. Sankar Chatterjee disagree with quad-launch posture?
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:iconteratophoneus:
Teratophoneus Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
its so awesome. I like how the wings look a little bit transparent, thats an awesome feature :D
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:iconalgoroth:
Algoroth Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
Such a darling little creature! Reminds me of some of my friends-nag, nag, NAG!!!! Quite an excellent drawing! Is he looking for one of these? -----> :halfliquid:
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:iconsameerprehistorica:
SameerPrehistorica Featured By Owner May 22, 2011   Digital Artist
Nicely done...
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
may I ask, how you get the affect you do with pencil? it looks a bit like what g.s. paul does, but not quite the same either.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I use mechanical pencils, usually holding them at an angle to "soften" the contact. I do basic shading first, then cast shadows, then color patterns and skin textures, whether they be scaly or hairy. A few tiny blotches here and there add the "natural imperfection" look.

This one was done on printer paper, now I use heavy paper which has more texture and is more eraser-friendly.
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
interesting, any specific type of pencil work better than others?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Mechanical HB's with 0.5 leads. Pick ones with a decent grip. I used to use 0.7 but now it's just a pain in the butt as it requires constant "friction sharpening" to make fine enough lines for some of my uses. Brand doesn't matter, as long as it's one of the well known ones like Bic or Sanford. Stay away from cheap imported Vietnamese leads (nothing against the Vietnamese, I just know from experience that they have awful mechanical leads that break and smear like soot when touched, and they are NOT "HB" as they are advertised).

Nobody else I've heard of even uses mechanicals for their dinosaurs, and it's downright rebellion by the wood-shaving standards of most art schools. So I'm a bit of a rogue when it comes to technique and I developed my own method without outside influence, whatever my drawings might seem to resemble. Other paleo-artists haven't even touched on the use of mechanicals for paleo-art. Not Greg Paul, not anyone. It takes patience to master, but yields far more consistent results and less frustration than traditional pencils.
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
also, how did you come to using mechanical pencils for your illustration as opposed to ordinary pencil, since it's so rarely used in the field?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
A couple of reasons:

1. Ease of use. Mechanicals don't need sharpening, so you don't waste time. You don't have to worry about wood hardness or lead purity either. Some traditional pensils have varying impurities in the graphite which result in MUCH variable drawing quality. You don't need sharpeners, burnishers, usually you don't need to buy extra erasers. In short, very little "equipment". Your lines and shadows will be much more consistent. Plus if you make a mistake, it's likely you caused far less damage than with a traditional pencil, and it's easier to erase.

2. Everyone uses them to write, I thought why not use them to draw? I didn't much care if it' not "conventional" in field. I'm not conventional, never have been. They're remarkably convenient pencils and don't require an art degree to understand how to use them - and you only really need one, not a whole set. For the most part you could say I stole the idea from the many pretty girls who seduced me in college. In addition to their natural charms, I saw the full range of all their fancy expensive rubber-grip mechanical pencils in glittery pearly plastic and multi-color chrome, the finest HB leads, and yet they only used the things for mundane left-brained purposes such as writing chemistry notes in their characteristic suboval/semi-triangular handwriting, flourished with the occasional 5-second flower or stick figure cartoon. It occurred to me that the mechanical pencil had far greater potential than what they had limited it to. Most had no art talent at all, though plenty to blow on big, rubbery pencils. To their face, it was all roses though :D Hmmm... and all the faux celebrity psychologists still claim women are far more artistic than men.
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hehe, interesting story towards the end there, thank you for your time. :D
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hehe, interesting, thank you for the advice. ;)
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:iconbrooksleibee:
BrooksLeibee Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010  Student Photographer
The Barbs on the feet, they have a kind of... insecty kinda look
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Well the outer toes are very long and spike-shaped... they lack a claw, they're just spikes. Good for foot balance when running. the little "barbs" on the outer toes are actually speculative hairs or tufts of hair.
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:iconbrooksleibee:
BrooksLeibee Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2010  Student Photographer
ah ok, thanks! I love the "Design" of the look of the Anurognathus.
A very beautiful pterosaur indeed.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Most people considers Anurognathus to be among the ugliest of the pterosaurs, so getting a compliment like that means I did a good job of it ;)
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:iconbrooksleibee:
BrooksLeibee Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010  Student Photographer
XD
you should probably do more pterosaurs!
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2010
You know, you've made some pretty grandiose claims for this drawing, so think it's fair to give it a fairly harsh critique.

Firstly, on the matter of proportions, I find your approach odd. On the one hand you're claiming that this drawing is supremely accurate because it is based on Mike Hanson's skeletal, and on the other hand, you say that Mike's skeletal has proportional errors. You don't really explain how you reached this conclusion, but if Mike does skeletals like me (and I suspect he does), he traces from the fossil--so it would really be surprising if he were making errors like that.

I have quite a few problems with the way you've drawn the membranes. Firstly, the tail attachment hasn't been advocated by anyone for a couple of decades; Greg Paul circa 1987 is hardly the last word on pterosaur appearance! Apart from the complete lack of fossil evidence supporting it, the consensus among people that work on flight mechanics is that the tail would not be able to withstand the compressive load--it would buckle up. On the subject of membrane extent, I suspect we're going to find that these guys had an ankle attachment, as they were after manoeuvrability, not glide performance. What do you think that giant toe was for, if it wasn't for attaching the uropatagium? The configuration you've got here makes no aerodynamic sense, and isn't support but the fossils.

The membrane was made up of several layers of tissue, and it seems unlikely to me that it would have been anywhere near as transparent as you've depicted it. It would be especially unlikely near the wing spar, where they almost certainly had tissue (probably air sacs) to streamline in the bones and muscle. On that note, the Greg Paul-style folds trailing each joint are odd, and I think unlikely; there's certainly no fossil evidence for them, and they require the actinofibrils to bend in unlikely ways.

If you look at Helmut Tischlinger's UV photo of Anurognathus, you can see that the forearm muscles are tightly bunched at the elbow (most unlike GSPs musculatures).

Finally, the way you've drawn the skin and hair rubs me the wrong way. Jeholopterus is preserved with LOTS of hair. Not some tiny thin coating which would have served no useful purpose, but a veritable hairball. I find it extremely unlikely that you would see ANY anatomical details underneath it, any more than you do on a bat. The effect would be totally unlike the every-muscle-fibre-and-every-bone-ridge thing that you've done here.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010
I am curious about the trend in restoring anurognathids with "whiskers." This is a peculiarity for birds with a particularly derived type of feather, and it is analogous to mammals with a particularly derived type of hair. In both cases, the inference of the whisker is completely independant of the osteology (although suggestions of nerve-"pits" in mammals may accompany those). There is no direct preservation of such hairs to my knowledge, even on Tischlinger's Anurognathus, so I'm fairly curious why this is required to be correct? It is an amazing drawing, though, and I do like it, although I'd make the neck thicker ;)
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'd actually make the head smaller instead... I feel it may be a bit too big here but I could be wrong... Mike Hanson draws it with a longer neck and smaller head, but your version is large-headed like mine... My version is largely based on its relative Jeholopterus, with a bit more modest fuzz.

The whiskers were anchored to pits that are present in Anurognathus, and the related Jeholopterus is known from a fuzzy specimen that preserves the whiskers. Nevertheless I do admit that I upped the whisker factor on here pretty high, Anurognathus may have had smaller whiskers than Jeholopterus. Bennett (2007) described the juvenile specimen with great detail, including the whisker attachments. Admittedly whiskers are not all that favorable to preservation...
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2010
Now, based on these specimens alone, I'd say that none of this indicated there are any "whiskers." There are pycnofibres around the head, sure, but the length of them is similar to that in NGMC 91 (Sinornithosaurus) or Sinosauropteryx, both of which have "feathers" preserved around the snout that are particularly longer than that capping the back of the head -- this is a preservational artefact, which spreads the fibers out abnormally rather than allowing them to lay flat against the head. People have been copying the preserved arrangement of the fibers in Sinornithosaurus, Sinosauropteryx, and even Anchiornis as a result of this, but it is almost certain that they are wrong, since they do NOT do this unless its for the head --- the rest of the body is given the "patted-down," smooth fur look. There is no reason to suspect the same isn't true for pterosaurs.

I cannot speak much of "pits" in Anurognathus; in either the Doederlein or Tischlinger specimens, the skull would be ornamented with nutrient foramina just as in other toothed or untoothed pterosaurs; assumptions of these "pits" as corresponding to "whiskers" assumes a positive relationship between any "pit" and a "whisker," but apparently if there was only hair around the head, and it had a spiky appearance ... as preserved. Bennett, in describing the Tischlinger specimen, doesn't mention these, and it would difficult for him to do so as he described the jugal as overlying the maxilla and obscuring any indications of "pits," if they exist. The integumentary evidence must come from Jeholopterus, but I cannot recall there being any cranial pycnofibres of any decent length there, too.

I can send you the paper, but I'd need an address.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner May 2, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
The evidence is mainly from Jeholopterus, but I've also found out that actually Bennett bases the whisker conclusion on the presence of strange tiny knobs, not pits. You're right, pits could just be plain old foramina.

The Jeholopterus type specimen does appear show matted bundles of whiskers (as one would expect from a specimen that was buried in silt and tossed around), but they do not look like distorted face integument or artificial structures.

All the same it MAY be possible whiskers had nothing to do with it, in that case feel free to draw your Anurognathids without whiskers, I'm pretty sure Bakker drew them without whiskers too. Just like I draw brachiosaurs and titanosaurs without rows of spines on their backs, since they haven't ever actually been found with them.
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:iconderkompsognatus:
DerKompsognatus Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2009
Would you mind if I use this image on my blog (You will be of course credited, with all rights reserved)? I really need an accurate image of Anurognathus in a post about all those ridiculous pterosaur reconstructions.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
By all means you can use the image as long as the exclusive rights and credit are mine.

Do you need an un-watermarked version or will this one suffice? And where is your blog, I'm interested to see it and there doesn't seem to be a link on your profile.
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:iconderkompsognatus:
DerKompsognatus Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2009
A thank you. Even though this version is fine I would like an un-watermarked one.

Well I still want to make the blog better before releasing it. But I could send you a link if you are interested.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
okay I'm back after a long busy and somewhat sick hiatus.... please send me the link to your blog, even if it's not perfect. once I see it I will send you the un-watermarked version of Anurognathus (if I'm not too late.....).
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:iconderkompsognatus:
DerKompsognatus Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
I'm glad you're back, it's rare to talk with someone of you skill in paleo art! Originally the first post was supposed to be about living pterosaurs, but I decided to start of with the living sauropod in Congo, which as hilarious as it is, still has many followers even today, leaving the living pterosaurs for the next post. Here's the link: [link]

It's far from perfect and I still need to get some pictures.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh wow! You're Nikola Popovic? I remember you posted on my blog about those awful movie sauropods. Thanks for the compliments dude, I had no idea Nikola and DerKompsognatus were the same person all this time. I took a look at your blog a while ago and yes, it is pretty new but you have a lot of good ideas and knowledge, and I hope it will become very popular.

What's your email? I will send you the un-watermarked pic this week. However by opening the attachment you agree to abide by the creative commons license (i.e. give me the full credit for the work every time you post it, no commercial use or derivative works without my permission, etc.) Not that I don't trust you or anything - I just have to get all that legal stuff out of the way first.

If you can find some other pterosaur pics to post on your blog, it would be great, to see the variety of different artists' versions. But I have never heard of this myth of the living pterosaur; please do tell more about it, I'm curious...
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:iconderkompsognatus:
DerKompsognatus Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
One of my many emails on which you can contact me is Pop.Popovic96@gmail.com

Don't worry I'll make sure that you will have full credit and I'll make sure I don't get any commercial use on your with or without your permission.

Living pterosaur myth, well it's bunch of dingo's kidneys, and I'm personally highly ashamed that once I believed in that crap like mad. But it's something like this; apparently all throughout human history there have been claims of flying reptiles with leathery wings, you can apparently find them being mentioned as far back as Bible. There have been sightings in both the Africa and American middle west. However most recent sightings are all clustered around Papua New Guinea upon which there are living pterosaurs who have no better business but to rob graves, produce huge amounts of feces and fly around emitting florescent light. Think that is funny? Well apparently all these pterosaurs have striking resemblance to what a total dope in pterosaurs thinks they looked like. Classical leathery winged, toothy flying lizards. Every resemblance to anything credible or what we know from fossil record today is sold separately. Here are couple of Wikipedian links if you're interested, but the scariest thing is how many people actually believes in this: [link] [link] [link])
Epic amounts of flat out paleontological fail are ensued.
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
And I think the reason why I didn't know you were Nikola is that I haven't looked at my DeviantArt for well over a month now... and in that month you commented for the first time on my blog, so I though it was a new person.
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:iconderkompsognatus:
DerKompsognatus Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
It's happens frequently when I'm talking to people over the internet. :lol:
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:iconzombiesaurian:
ZombieSaurian Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2009  Student Digital Artist
I like how you made the wings more transparent!
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:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2009
the definitive version?
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:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed. B-)
The main reason I chose to illustrate Anurognathus as the "definitive version"(this wasn't a commission) is because SO many people draw it badly or incorrectly, that I can't say much for any previous version - nearly every other restoration of it that I've seen has been, in MY view, inadequate, crude, and frankly rather clumsy. That's not a personal attack against any other artists - I'm just a bit shocked and disappointed by their work.:x

I'm not even talking about personal interpretations like what membranes went where, but just basic proportions and body parts and what not.

I.e. most 'artists' that I see have no clue how long the legs are or how they articulate. Some even put the eye in the wrong socket! If you pick up any store-bought "dinosaur" book and Anuro's in it, prepare to get sick. Some artists completely forget to draw the whiskers and ankle plumes. And I actually kept the ankle plumes pretty conservative here - if Anurognathus looked EXACTLY like Jeholopterus (which it may or may not have), then the plumes would be a lot bigger and bushier.

Perhaps "first definitive version" would be more to your liking (unless Greg Paul has already beaten me to it), but I'm not a self-deprecating man LOL! :mwahaha:
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