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The Masthead (Updated) by Qilong The Masthead (Updated) by Qilong
Most specimens of Nyctosaurus feature a basic look and model of pteryosaur, only with really, really long wings. With a straight beak and no apparent crest, they seem to differ substantively from Pteranodon.

KJ1 and KJ2 are two specimens of a pterosaur with whom many may be familiar of the look of, but I decided to try my had at for the sake of interest.

I have shown the cranial crest unadorned with "sail," but have added a crest to the main cranium as seen in most other pterosaurs, especially one specimen of Nyctosaurus bonneri that might be improperly preserved or restored. So this is very speculative.

Updated: I've made the crest "sexier" and "shapelier" by rounding the margin, instead of a "sail" like sheet that would be a taut fabric of sorts; instead, it seems a thickened, harder and rhamphotheca-like structure instead.
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:iconatlantis536:
Atlantis536 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a drawing of a hypothetical "Tripteryx" - a bird with two wings and a third wing on its head. Perhaps it's similar to this?
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:iconcynder-man:
Cynder-Man Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Holy hell... this is far more intense than what I was expecting. I didn't think there was any evidence supporting any kind of tissue or skin on the crest, and you've made it quite a lot larger than I would have ever gone for. I love it.
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:iconthedilophoraptor:
TheDilophoraptor Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
"look ma, no hands!"
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:iconaiman5625:
aiman5625 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017
Lol
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:icondragonmandaniel:
DragonManDaniel Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016
Clever punYou Know What's Up, Gurl Birb intensifies 
idk why I chose these emotes, but I couldn't find any "eeyyyyy" ones.
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:iconvahzah-dovahkiin:
Vahzah-Dovahkiin Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
God DAMMIT Dilo
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
hahahah
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:iconislandmasters:
IslandMasters Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
In this reconstruction, pressure point of the sail is significantly too high an too far in the back for flight stability.

You can see a correctly shaped sail for Nyctosaurus in full flight on:

www.island-masters.de
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
I do not think the sail would exist at all, but if it did it would have a parabolic shape. The idea is that even with a solid structure, such a sail doesn't substantially impair flight, and this has been tested. The animal is not, nor ever does, use the sail to "catch" or "tack against" the wind.

If such a structure DIS exist, it would like be part of the premaxillary crest soft-tissue as in most other pterosaurs with such a thing, and that would mean only that the "sail" is on the wrong side of the upper ramus. This is illustrated here behind the ramus merely for continuity with other art and for artistic sake.
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:iconheytomemeimhome:
Heytomemeimhome Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
After , reading PTEROSAURS I don't think the sail COULD have existed.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
I don't think so either.
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:iconjdailey1991:
Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
I just noticed something else.  A crest that big might be the biggest "Eat Me" billboard seen by every predator!
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
These are fairly small pterosaurs, and are marine to boot. Meaning, there are no aerial predators that would be able to make an easy go at them. Yes, probably very awkward on land, but probably able to get into the air very fast (look up quad-launch). The crest is pretty noticeable, but it would be a cost that would be worth the advantages it gives.
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:iconjdailey1991:
Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
No aerial predators, maybe, but on land and sea, there'd be plenty of predators who would catch sight of a 30-40-foot crest like a hiker catching sight of a rainbow-colored deer.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
As I said, these pterosaurs are very small. The crest, or perhaps merely an "antler" of bone, is only about 1.3 feet high. I doubt it would be very visible from a distance.
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:iconjdailey1991:
Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
With a crest that big, how on Earth could he keep his head up, or his body aloft?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
It was probably very light and thin. Imagine running around with some aluminum antennas on your head. About that difficult. The soft-tissue is hypothetical and would likely have weighed more than the bone that supported it, but would just be super-thin sheets of soft-semi-floppy skin or beak-like material.
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Dear Qilong

I think to discover a new thing…I look at Owen's reconstruction on Dimorphodon...Now have a Question....between skull and claw of Dimorphodon, We see a small skull with mammals teeth...Do you see this skull?

[link]


Do you know What is this small skull? a mammal (Lemur) as food or a baby Dimorphodon?

Do any scientist have spoken about this small skull in this picture until now?

you can publish an article about it and I am sure all of scientists will be surprised of such discovery
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:iconislandmasters:
IslandMasters Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
See KJ 1 Nyctosaurus, KJ 2 Nyctosaurus, Tupandactylus and Thalassodromaeus in true flight
on www.island-masters.de !!!

Yours
Thomas Piepenbring
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:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Sexy.
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:iconolofmoleman:
olofmoleman Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012   Digital Artist
Very nice, a gust of wind will topple it over though.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Possible. However, it can just cant the head just so and solve that issue. Indeed, sailing boats cant their sails in order to be driven, and can tack this way against the direction of the wind or across it without being pushed into the direction of the wind.
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:iconolofmoleman:
olofmoleman Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012   Digital Artist
So basically you're saying it may have used the crest as a sail. An interesting idea...
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
Well, it is undeniable that the crest, if present, would have an effect, and that it may have been able to utilize it. But recent tests show that the crest itself may have been very passive in regardes to lift generation or yaw control, and thus may have had very little to do with flying. A sail, even a small one, can help reduce the cost of flight by providing propulsion.
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:iconzegh8578:
ZEGH8578 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
An unbelievable animal, godamnit :D
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:iconhoshi-ryu:
Hoshi-Ryu Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Damn nature, you scary.
I have a really hard time visualizing that head sail as being piratical/allowing flight. Did these guys glide? I can just see them nose diving for some reason and spinning like a maple tree seed. ([link]) Sorry, I'm not very educated in this department, and am asking a silly question! :(
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
It doesn't seem to prevent flight. Correct use of the head to yaw or roll would seem to have no detrimental effects, or so some experiments by experts have concluded.
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:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Must. draw. it. NOW.

(with your permission, of course!)
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
My skeletal is CC-BY, which means you only need to cite me.
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:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, thanks :)
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:iconpeteridish:
PeteriDish Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't think there was any soft tissue in the crest :-?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
There may not have been, but I am rendering this on the assumption that there was, in fact, some soft-tissue present between the dorsal and posterior bars of the crest. It seems strange to consider what functional utility the bars would have if they were so bar-like and thin; some fluff or expanse to make them show up seems likely! That's an excuse, though.
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:iconpeteridish:
PeteriDish Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
well, I was just saying that it seems odd to me that the crest would have larger surface than the wings themselves, it seems to me that if it caught wind like a sail, the pterosaur would have little chance fighting against it. deer antlers also have no webbing ;)
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
I do not pretend to understand the math involved, but what I do understand is that the shear force across the animal would not be enough to disrupt the animal, nor that turning it's head slightly to mitigate shear. It is true there is no primary evidence for a crest, rhamphotheca or otherwise, but the likelihood is a little above 50%, given the comparison to other taxa suggests such a structure is almost universal among pterosaurs.
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:iconpeteridish:
PeteriDish Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm... Okay then =)
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Very cool. I just wanted to say that Nyctosaurus is a ridiculous animal.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
Indeed.
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:iconyapok96:
Yapok96 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
Sorry, I am sort of late on commenting on this, but...
First off, I have looked at your gallery and am quite amazed. :) The skeletals are very helpful, and your textures are wonderful.
Second off, I have a question about your pterosaur skeletals: Pterosaurs were plantigrade, correct? Are you just trying to represent them on their tippy-toes in your skeletals?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
The tip-toe posture is designed as an artistic, rather than realistic, approach, as is the extreme upstroke pose in all of these pterosaurs. This is not intended to be the actual implied possible postures available, although I am sure they could get close to this, it was an extreme.
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:iconalgoroth:
Algoroth Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
I wonder if they got on tippy-toe taking off?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012
My understanding is that the only tippy-toe this will get is as the forelimb vault is pushing the whole body off the ground at once. The hindlimbs would technically leave the ground before the forelimbs did.
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:iconalgoroth:
Algoroth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
Agreed...but if one of them got mixed up...! :rofl:
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:iconcryptidsaurian:
cryptidsaurian Featured By Owner May 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh wow i looked at the scale bar this was a lot smaller than i thought before
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:iconmattmart:
MattMart Featured By Owner May 17, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Jaime, sorry to harp on this but I'm in full Nyctosaurus mode at the moment so your skeletal came out at the perfect time... Anyway the scale bar seems off. In Bennett 2003 it looks like the entire skull is only about 30cm long, while yours looks over 50. The measurements given for the crest also indicate a much smaller specimen. Or is this scaled up to match a larger Nyct specimen?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner May 17, 2010
The material is meant to reflect the largest specimen, but the details are taken after both, as is the crest. I was fairly shoddy on the extent of the crest, as it is incomplete and it seems uncertain precisely how many fragments are present. I've estimated gratuitously.
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:iconmattmart:
MattMart Featured By Owner May 14, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great skeletal! But didn't it turn out the posterior spur of the crest was almost as long as the dorsal one?
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner May 14, 2010
Yes. Bennett points out that there may be more to the spur. I extended the spur initially based on the original publication, but should bring it out more (as well as removing the bonneri-like snout ornament).
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:iconmattmart:
MattMart Featured By Owner May 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Incidentally, this comment from Bennett [link] suggests the "N. bonneri" crest is a combination of crushing and overzealous restoration, not real.
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:iconqilong:
Qilong Featured By Owner May 16, 2010
There :)
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:iconevenape:
Evenape Featured By Owner May 13, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Me needs this

Faved
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