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Nemicolopterus Skeletal by jconway Nemicolopterus Skeletal by jconway
A preliminary skeletal of the new (and absolutely tiny) pterosaur Nemicolopterus crypticus. This was done from the not-very-high-resolution photographs and drawings in the description, so I do stress that it is preliminary.

White indicates bones present and restorable, light grey indicates bones that are present but I had to pretty my make up (because they are badly crushed, partially obscured by other bones, etc.) and dark grey missing elements. Stipples indicate air sacs.

Gotta say, this is one cool looking little beasty. Really birdlike.

Ref:
Wang et al., 2008. Discovery of a rare arboreal forest-dwelling flying reptile (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from China. PNAS vol. 105 (6) pp. 1983-1987
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:iconfredthedinosaurman:
FredtheDinosaurman Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Student General Artist
Awesome. Is is possible to have permission to use it for some color schemes I'm working on?
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:iconfragillimus335:
Fragillimus335 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic little guy, almost life-size on my screen! :D  So, is it well established that this specimen is ontogenetically mature?
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:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2008
Now that is an interesting lil' pterosaur.
Nicely done.
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:icontehfuzzyduck:
TehFuzzyDuck Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008
Wonderful work! I really enjoy seeing these skeletal reconstructions. I like how you decided to make it more round in shape, rather than have the skin clinging to the skeleton like in some reconstructions. Did anything in particular make you decide to do that? Can't wait to see a lifelike reconstruction of these intriguing little pterosaur! :)
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
The neck is thicker than in most restorations this is based on what I've seen in fossils with soft-tissue preservation (such as Pterodactylus). The body and limbs aren't and fuller than usually shown. What make for the overall impression of roundness I guess is the fur, which most fossils indicate was more extensive and just plain bigger than most people draw it (I've never figured out why people see so reluctant to put the proper amount of integument on extinct animals -- it happens with dinosaurs too).
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:icontehfuzzyduck:
TehFuzzyDuck Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
I guess it's just to be more cautious, but proper integument really brings the creature to life. Looking at extant species, it's hard not to speculate how varied and diverse and strange looking (and fleshy) extinct animals were.
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:iconrydicanubis:
rydicanubis Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008
I'm really intrigued, unfortunately I can't seem to get the article. The most recent issue isn't online yet it seems, or at least not for me to access.
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
Give me you email and I'll send it along if you like.
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:iconrydicanubis:
rydicanubis Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2008
That would be fantastic! Thanks!
I'll note it.
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:icongorgosaurus:
Gorgosaurus Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Interesting animal.
I´m quite fond of it.
Must have a word with Allan Smith about this one.
Spike.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Amazing! I sent you a note from Facebook about the... poster. Did you get to read it?
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:iconarchosaurian:
Archosaurian Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Very birdlike indeed, though it looks to me to have been more of a generalist such as a starling or an icterid than an insctivore as Kellner et al. suggest.

One comment of the skull though, the weird parietal bifurcation you show is likely the result of the disarticulation of the braincase, especially the frontals and parietals. Also, where is the supertemporal fenestra?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Oh, and I agree about it looking like a generalist.
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Yeah, I got a little sloppy on the skull (not my forté;). When I get hold of a high-res photo I'll fix it up (sent and email to Kellner, wonder what the chances are of hearing back...).
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:iconpiatnitskysaurus:
Piatnitskysaurus Featured By Owner May 25, 2008
Is it really an actual species, or is Darren Naish right in that it might be a juvenile?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner May 26, 2008
Yeah, it very well could be a juvenile Sinopterus. At least, I can't see anything that would exclude that possibility. Shame really.
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:iconpiatnitskysaurus:
Piatnitskysaurus Featured By Owner May 27, 2008
yeah.
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Why does dA turn everything into those stupid winky faces?
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:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent work :thumbsup:
I don't really know how to comment this, but well i like it ^^ So +FAV !
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:icondeino:
Deino Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
That is tiny... I wan't one in my room! One trained to peck over people that is not me.

Anyway, very nice work :nod:
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:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Very nice work. :) BTW, you are really fast. I heard about this pterosaur for first time yesterday. I might use this skeletal drawing in my future artworks.
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
I only heard about it yesterday too - luckily I have a lot of pre-drawn stuff which I just modify.
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:icondunwich7:
dunwich7 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
That certainly is tiny.

Noob question: Would flight be achieved by flapping those wings (similar to a bat I imagine) or would it be more of a hop and glide thing?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Oh they were definitely flappers. No reason to suspect they weren't as energetic and adept in the air as birds.
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:icondunwich7:
dunwich7 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Thanks for the quick answer^^. I must admit that I am surprised (and fascinated) by that (and by the fact of its tiny size).

But then I really shouldn't be surprised since my mental image of dinosaurs (flying or not) was heavily influenced by 70s "Lost World" flics like "The Land that Time forgot". Not the most reliable sources :D

That's what I like about your Palaeontography... I can enjoy looking at those images and have that good warm feeling in my belly, that I'm not only looking at art, but also at scientific facts (ok, and at speculation, but based on scientific knowledge).
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Um yeah, the pop-culture 70s image of pterosaurs is not really close to (or indeed anything to do with) reality.
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:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
That was fast!
This pterosaur is really interesting, and (as you said) is rather birdlike, both in size and in shape, toothless beak and all.
Were there air sacs preserved with the specimen?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
No, no soft tissue. And yes I really hurried this one along, I wanted to be on top of things for once!
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:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2008
Heh, it paid off. :)
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:iconbrad-ysaurus:
Brad-ysaurus Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
I find it interesting that the neck comes out relatively deep and straight in your reconstructions, whereas more mainstream (and presumably wrong) pterosaur restorations always keep the soft tissue fairly close to the contours of the bone, so the shape of the neck is the shape of the skeleton. Has anything been written to justify either style?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
There are specimens of Pterodactylus that show a deep soft tissue over the neck. I think they are in one of Dino Frey's soft tissue papers, but I don't remember.
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:icondinomaniac:
Dinomaniac Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Damn you mr. Conway! You beat me to it. ^^

Man it looks great!
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Yeah, I'm sick of not being first to the punch! Take THAT Mr. Maniac!
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:iconfingertier:
Fingertier Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008
Wow, it`s so cute!
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