Tuesday, April 8, 2008


These are the sketches that I have gotten around to scanning. Two prelims of the strange critter known formerly known as Tapejara imperator, now performing under the name of Tupandactylus, a Brazillian pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous period. The crest on this bugger is amazing, to say the least...one would wonder how such a creature could ever achieve liftoff with such elaborate headgear, let alone keep an even keel with what is essentially an enormous sail on it's noggin.

Most of the (very few) articles available on this particular pterosaur seem to hint at the crest being considerably larger than what I have drawn here, but there seems to be no images to be found of the Tupandactylus/Tapejara imperator skull pulled from the Santana Cretaceous formation in Brazil, which supposedly has faint impressions of the crest imbedded in the strata surrounding the fossil. The anatomy of this sketch will change - I was more getting the feel for how that huge noggin would correspond to the rest of the body - which there also seems to be no pictures of. And I know my damnedable furry art background has gotten in the way of anatomical correctness - the body is too big, I think...pterosaurs routinely had compact, one could say dwarfed, bodies.

I seem to have this problem with drawing OFF the page...here is a sketch of the skull, accompanied by my first attempt to bring this bizzaroid critter to life. I bought a bigger sketchpad, but I have yet to christen it...

And that's all you're getting from me for now...


ScottE said...

I'd say this has been so very nailed. You have my applause. And envy. And maybe one of my books? I can't remember, but I do know I still have your Ren and Stimpy.

Which I will return to you immediately at our next meeting, with the grace of God and the creek don't rise, which it probably will due to global warming.

Zach Miller said...

Great stuff, Raven. I have to ask--are you a fan of Richard Delagado ("Age of Reptiles")? Your stuff resembles his, which I applaud.

Notes on Tupandactylus: Yes, the crest probably is a lot bigger. The "prongs" likely connect via soft tissue, making the head look essentially like a sailboat. Run over to my blogroll and check out Mark Witton's pterosaur page. He's got some excellent reconstructions of Tupandactylus AND Tapajara!

From personal experience, I can confirm that getting the proportions right on ANY pterosaur is a challenge. Their bodies are RIDICULOUSLY small compared to the heads and long limbs.