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Pterodactylus kochi landing by jconway Pterodactylus kochi landing by jconway
To go with my new skeletal, here's a painting of Pterodactylus landing on a log in the Solnhofen lagoon.
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:iconhasgral:
Hasgral Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
can i use it for a school work about pterodactylus?
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:iconmichelle56:
Michelle56 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww very cute!
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:icontmaric:
tmaric Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2008
I really like the tones of this one :) Overall you have an exquisite gallery!
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:iconraptor85:
Raptor85 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic! i really love the colours, he looks really cute :>
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner May 20, 2007
Damn that is an awesome log. I love its shape, the way it sits on the sand, the way the light from the water reflects up on it. Man. _LOG_.

And the pterosaur is cool too. Especially the color scheme. And the way the wings turn up at the tips. Like the tips of a bird's wings. It seems like the wings are oddly short, though. Usually I see pterosaur skeletons reconstructed with proportionally very long and narrow wings for their bodies compaired to similarly sized birds. This one's wings seem short, though, even short than a bird's would be. Or is that just a trick of perspective?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner May 22, 2007
Well, I don't actually measure my paintings, so there will be some proportional... erm... idiosyncrasies in all of them. But checking it against the skeletal [link] which is measured, it's pretty close. Pterodactylus just didn't have crazy-long wings.

The turned-up wingtips were inspired by some computer modelling done for the Stanford-NG Pterosaur project; pterosaur wing outer wing spars were really flexible--which I don't show enough of in my paintings.

P.S. Thanks for the log-praising.
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner May 22, 2007
Huh, I wonder what the wing proportions thing says about Pterodactylus ecology. It looks like they were sacrificing lift for speed, which doesn't make much sense in a seabird. On the other hand, the pterosaur biomechanics paper I read last year was pretty old, and I'm sure the general understanding of their functional ecology has changed.

Anyway, I was going to ask about the wingtips. How did they acheive that kind of flex? Was the tip of the finger made of particularly flexible bone? Or did they have weird joints on those last digits? And how flexible are we talking here? Like as flexible as the pinions on a bird?

log log log, wooh
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner May 23, 2007
On wing proportions; it's the other way around. Long thin wings are fast (achieve maximum lift at higher speeds) than shorter, broader wings. Pterodactylus looks like it wasn't a particularly fast flyer. I think it was predominantly a ground feeder, and it's wings were adapted for bursts at take-off.

The bone was flexible - there was next to no extra flexibility at the joints (there might even have been less, because the bone's thicker there, but I don't remember all that clearly). The entire wing finger was flexible, but obviously most flexible at the tip. To be honest I don't remember the exact extent -- but I got the impression the wing finger overall would be able to flex like the outer wing of a bird (wrist to feather tip).
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner May 23, 2007
Wow. That's really cool. I'll keep it in mind.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2007
What never ceases to amaze me is how you manage to make your restorations as if you`ve seen the damn crature in your backyard... Brilliant work!
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:icondustdevil:
dustdevil Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2007  Professional General Artist
Magnifique John.
You finally attached the wing membrane on the femur on this one?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2007
That's what the fossils show, pretty convincingly.
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Amazing work. I love seeing your paintings of prehistoric beasts.
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:iconunlobogris:
unlobogris Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Absolutely amazing. You're one of the few artist able to come back to live the fascinating pterosaurs with realism. (looking at that I can imagine the movement of the scene and "see" a "real" pterosaur alive)
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Hey, well, that's what it's all about right? Thanks.

I think what makes the difference is really having got to know pterosaurs from the inside out. I've done a lot of muscle restorations, some sculptures, seen computer simulations of membrane tension, and (lucky for me) got to play with on of the best pterosaur specimens around -- the AMNH Anhanguera santanae. Although you can't see all that stuff directly, it seeps through somehow. I guess when I go to pose them, I know what I'm saying that joint and its muscles are supposed to be doing what the membrane is up to, and so on-- which I can't really say for a lot of other animals.

That's specialisation for you!
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:iconunlobogris:
unlobogris Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Not all the artist get that effect, despite of using the same technic.
Personally, I'm still (and forever) learning, trying to decipher animal musculature, but I still have not the chance of working with real specimens (that's a really big luck!).
BTW, I've read some rumors about a soft-tissued crest in the head of Pterodactylus, do you know something about it?
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
John,
This is fascinating stuff. I like the way you got the landing flair.
Steve
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Lovely little animal isn't it?
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Like a puppy dog waiting for some little girl to claim him.
"Mommy, Mommy, look what followed me home! Can I keep him? Please? Pretty please?"
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
Waaah! He bit me a flew away!
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Fantastic. I'm really enjoying the mini-renaissance in our understanding of pterosaur biomechanics and soft-tissue anatomy. Wish I had time to contribute to it, but such is life...

Anyways, I really like the impressionist style of the piece as well. OUt of curiosity, how long does a piece like this take you?
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:iconjconway:
jconway Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2007
It sure is an interesting time to be in pterosaur research, there's been an explosion of new theories and methods recently. It's not led to much pinning down about what was going on yet, in my opinion, but it's all good stuff (well most of it is...).

I'm not sure how long these things take me, because I rarely do them solid -- maybe about two days, or a bit more.
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April 18, 2007
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