Sunday, 1 August 2010

Drawings and sketches....

In this post I will be showcasing some of my most recent drawings. By the way the mascott/ main title image of my blog is of the early Parave Pedopenna.

Above is a drawing of Nyctosaurus. This was a very unusual Pterosaur closely related to Pteranodon. It is most noteworthy in the fact that projecting from the back of the head was an enormous bony strut twice the length of the rostrum and cranium combined. This strut or pole seems to grow straight up at a right angle to the rostrum. I will call this the mast. A little way up the posterior surface of the mast is a second strut that projects from the mast backwards and runs parallel to the axis of the rostrum. This will be called the boom of the crest. By now you may have noticed the resemblance between the headgear of Nyctosaurus and the support structure of a sail in boats. It has been suggested that Nyctosaurus had a sheet of keratin or skin in between the boom and the mast of the crest as in Tapejarid Pterosaurs; which I will ironically call the sail. Tapejarids have a similar crest to Nyctosaurus, but this is much less enormous. We can tell that Tapejarids did have a sail because it has been preserved on some specimens, and because on the rear edge of the mast there are rugosities where the bone of the mast meets the soft tissue of the sail. This latter feature is not present on the mast and boom of Nyctosaurus leading many to believe that no such sail was present. This factor however, was ignored in my reconstruction, partly out of curiosity as to the appearance of the crest with a sail.

Above is a reconstruction of two Leviathan whales. For more information see my earlier post on its discovery.

Above is a reconstruction of the Chinese Anurognathid Pterosaur Jeholopterus. Note that I have given it whiskers. Derek Briggs; a Pterosaur expert, noted after examining a fossil of a close relative called Anurognathus, that it possessed small bumps on its snout similar to the attachment sites of whiskers in mammals and Cynodonts. Therefore it is possible that Jeholopterus had whiskers. Jeholopterus is known to have been furry thanks to its excellent preservation. It probably ate insects and small animals.

Above on top is my attempt at drawing Wayne Barlowe's Daggerwrist. Now that I have scaled down my drawing on the computer I can see that the head is way too big, but this can be rectified and when I do so I will begin to apply colour to my work.

Finally is a rather old picture based on a skeletal reconstruction of Ceratosaurus by Gregory S Paul. After noticing numerous proportional inaccuracies in my own skeletal drawing I gave up and instead drew an even more disproportionate life reconstruction with an enormous head. Ceratosaurus was pretty unusual. Aside from its seeming taxonomic isolation it must have been rather specialized. Robert Bakker has suggested that it was a fish eater and was primarily semi aquatic. Ceratosaurus does have elongate teeth seemingly suitable for catching slippery fishy prey, as well as a deep and flexible tail. Its general common presence in aquatic deposits and association with giant fish also suggest a semi aquatic lifestyle.

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