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Hatzegopteryx

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Finally completed my very first digitally-reconstructed pterosaur (and first pterosaur of 2018!!!)- the giant short-necked azhdarchid Hatzegopteryx. This was a truly colossal predator that, with its comparatively robust morphology and squat/muscular build, would have preyed upon anything that could fit down its throat on the subtropical Hateg Island of Maastrichtian-aged Romania. Hatzegopteryx is a truly exceptional genus as it has broadened our understanding of azhdarchid morphology and diversity, showing that they weren't all the incredibly long-necked, seemingly dainty forms like Quetzalcoatlus. To pay respect to this animal's presumed ferocity, I drew inspiration from extant storks (the best modern analogue for Hatzegopteryx), birds of prey and even big cats for a suitable coloration. While the silvery pycnofibers are an artifact of how I tried to light this animal, I kind of like the speculative idea of older, more mature pterosaurs becoming "silverbacks" like modern gorillas. Kind of adds to the charisma they project. 
This was an incredibly difficult reconstruction for me, as this animal is known from incomplete remains and its exact morphology is still very much unknown. I relied primarily on Mark Witton's skeletal and life reconstructions from his blog post and paper with Darren Naish that compared Hatzegopteryx' morphology with that of Arambourgiania. Special thanks to Zhejiangopterus for cluing me in to perhaps a more plausible skull shape based on a presumed close relative, Bakonydraco. 
Sources: markwitton-com.blogspot.com/20…
peerj.com/articles/2908/
zhejiangopterus.wordpress.com/…
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Polymetros's avatar

I love the giant pteranodonts and azhdarchids... but was the head THIS big? Look at that, Hideous! :0

SterileRitalin's avatar
who let this big man exist
APJ1930's avatar
giantmonster77's avatar
Really impressive ,showing how strange and big these beasts were. 
i wouldn’t wanna get pecked by that guy o-o
ariGail's avatar
It's one of the funniest, scariest birds I've ever seen
Owlbaskingshark's avatar
That ain't no bird
Indominus81's avatar
That is a funny looking bird!
Fleeting-Epiphany's avatar
Dude, you got some freakish talent! My God. The detail is too surreal.  You should be employed to draw paleo-illistration.
PrehistoryByLiam's avatar
Lily-Ash's avatar
How the heck could this thing even fly with a head that big?
PrehistoryByLiam's avatar
I'll refer you to an expert on the matter: markwitton-com.blogspot.com/20…
YellowPanda2001's avatar
It's a monster, this guy!
MagnusTonitrum's avatar
That’s a big ass head
this what happens when you skip leg day
RelaxingMayhem's avatar
NormalDinosaurNerd's avatar
That’s a weird looking Giraffe.
avengen's avatar
When Dragons walked the earth 
flying-wolf-32's avatar
That's midly terrifying. 😯
Frednuttin's avatar
That could eat someone
MonsterousOperandi's avatar
looks like a giant pelican, which I'm sure, was by design. 
That means if it ate in a similar fashion, you're totally right.
Pterobat's avatar
I love how the depictions of pterosaurs keep changing. That one looks beautiful.
PrehistoryByLiam's avatar
Thank you very much! I agree
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