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?
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.
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?
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).