Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Swan-beaked Pterosaurs by Qilong Swan-beaked Pterosaurs by Qilong
Well, really, there's nothing truly "swan-beaked" about Cycnorhamphus, despite that being the name's meaning. Given the gentle curvature of the snout, the long neck, and the long legs, one is more inclined to plovers and sandpipers than to swans and duck and geese. However, this smaller-jawed, more robust and possibly more primitive pterosaur than Ctenochasma (shown here), is known from the Upper Jurassic of France, at roughly the same time as its German relatives Ctenochasma and Gnathosaurus, but much earlier than the Argentinian Pterodaustro.

This animal is very distinct because of the very long, slender wings, with four phalanges (Ctenochasma has only three -- that I can find), and the large, robust humerus, the deeper skull, the relatively shorter dentigerous (tooth-bearing) portion of the jaw, the shorter post-artibular region of the lower jaw, and the long crest at the back of the skull, which from the shapes and elements of the bones probably attached several neck muscles and tendons, likely for pulling the skull up and back. As this animal was likely eating aquatic prey, as in it's slender-snouted relatives named above (which were more likely to be filter-feeders than this one), the slender teeth and skull-neck region were likely intimately involved in this. The long wings may have operated like stilts in shallow water, but very useful in flight.
Add a Comment:
MAD-KNIGHT Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
What's your opinion on Cycnorhamphus adults having big crests and oddly-curved beaks?
Qilong Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
Need more evidence than one bizarre skull out of two without the freakish curve. No opinion on crests.
MAD-KNIGHT Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
What about Hatzegopteryx? Any opinions on Witton's reconstruction of it as a short-neck, bulky Azhdarchid that was built for a more predatory lifestyle? 
Heytomemeimhome Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
But I thought pterosaurs were quadrupeds?
Qilong Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014
These skeletals were done ONLY to show the animals in a dynamic and near-flight posture. At the time, it was plausible they would launch as many birds, before the biomechanics of quadrupedal launching was conceived and the problems of bipedal running-launching were pointed out. Even so, I was drawing my pterosaurs much as my birds, so these skeletals resemble those for merely that reason. I do not do them currently this way.
Kairu-Hakubi Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woot, i like the long legs.. Nice to see a pterosaur that can actually run.
Er, but am I to assume that, because you didn't draw in the full leg bones, we havent found a complete skeleton? ^^'
Qilong Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2007
Yes, that is correct! The long legs are drawn from comparisons with other similar pterosaurs, such as Ctenochasma. I don't think it could actually run like this, however, since the body would be so extremely forward overbalanced that the only way it could walk on the ground in a stable way is to be on all fours, and even then, its speed was likely rather slow.
Kairu-Hakubi Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, you never know! ^_^' I've seen some lizards run pretty darn fast on their hind legs, despite being just as forward-heavy.
Qilong Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2007
This is true, however those lizards usually have a long counterbalancing tail, which pterosaurs lack. The above skeleton is used only for the sake of elegance and aesthetics.
aspidel Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Another fine skeletal of another poorly known pterosaur. And another fav.
zakafreakarama Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2006
Cool! That's a favourite too! Your skeletal reconstructions are always amazing :worship:
Sainte-Vincient Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful. I wasn't even aware of this animal yet. I'll definitely have to be doing a restoration. +fav
ZEGH8578 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2006
*tosses little bits of bread to it*

*watches fingers* :|
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
March 3, 2006
Image Size
140 KB


3,478 (1 today)
43 (who?)