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The Bat Lizard by Smnt2000 The Bat Lizard by Smnt2000

Pterosaurus had humongous crests. They really had. Huge, flamboyant, impossible crests. And among Thalassodromeus and Tupandactylus this guy surely is the anthem of weirdness.

Say hi to this nice little fellow, Nyctosaurus gracilis. I didn't know that its name means "gracile bat lizard". It doesn't look a bat at all. Nyctodactylus was a far better name. Oh well. This animal freaks me out. It's a skimmer with antlers. A freaking skimmer with freaking antlers. And, differently from other pterosaurus, it didn't have clawed fingers on its arms. I'm still not sure if it's just an error. Maybe we have just to find them. Maybe. Still, it's an impossible creature. And it surely spent a lot of time in the air. Like a frigate bird. With those little and weak legs I don't see it really walking. And if it was at least partially quadrupedal like other pterosaurs, those long arms didn't help it. God, what a weirdo.
About the reconstruction, nothing in particular to say. Except maybe the crest. I didn't draw a sail on it 'cause we don't have any proof of it. The best thing you can do, it's reading this article by Darren Naish; he explains all. Link: scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoolo…
And the underwings are white. I don't know if it's possible, but I've always liked the Greg Paul's idea of white underwings as you can see in modern birds. It's just mimetism. I'll fix that in the future if it's wrong.

Nyctosaurus is a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur, the remains of which have been found in the Niobrara Formation of the mid-western United States, which, during the late Cretaceous Period, was covered in an extensive shallow sea. The genus Nyctosaurus has had numerous species referred to it, though how many of these may actually be valid requires further study. At least one species possessed an extraordinarily large antler-like cranial crest. Nyctosaurus was similar in anatomy to its close relative and contemporary, Pteranodon. It had relatively long wings, similar in shape to modern seabirds. However, it was smaller overall than Pteranodon, with an adult wingspan of 2 meters and a maximum weight of about 1.86 kg. The overall body length was 37 cm. Some specimens preserve a distinctive crest, at least 55 cm tall in old adults, relatively gigantic compared to the rest of the body and over three times the length of the head. The crest is composed of two long, grooved spars, one pointed upward and the other backward, arising from a common base projecting up and back from the back of the skull. The two spars were nearly equal in length, and both were nearly as long or longer than the total length of the body. The upward-pointing crest spar was at least 42 cm long (1.3 ft) and the backward-pointing spar was at least 32 cm long (1 ft).

Coloured with Tria Markers and pencils. Based on blue footed boobie bird.

References: Darren Naish, John Conway, Jaime A. Headden, Greg Paul

Enjoy it!

Edit: added a better picture!

On my blog too: ktboundary-smnt2000.blogspot.i…

Ps: sorry for the colours' quality. Bad scanner.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconhardcorecrocomire:
HardCoreCrocomire Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
how the hell does this thing get into it's car???
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:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Disgracefully, I guess.
Reply
:iconhardcorecrocomire:
HardCoreCrocomire Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nyctosaurus: after a half hour* huff huff* finally!!! ... DAMMIT I FORGOT TO TAKE THE HOUSE KEYS!!!
Reply
:icondannyp96:
Dannyp96 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful! I simply have to wonder, knowing far less about pterosaurs than I do of dinosaurs, is it possible that Nyctosaurus could've spent most of its time hovering over sea and resting in the water like some modern birds do? I'm not certain pterosaurs were capable of such behavior, but to me its anatomy begs the question..
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nyctosaurus is probably the least terrestrial of all pterosaurs. The longest forelimbs of all pterosaurs (even for ornithocheiroids) and the very short hindlimbs suggest us that it didn't walk much. Also, the abscence of the manus fingers (except the fourth digit, which supports the patagium) tells us that it spent little time on the ground. Nyctosaurus definitely had a seagoing lifestyle, possibly similar to frigate birds.
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:icondannyp96:
Dannyp96 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very interesting, it seems I'll have to do some reading up on pterosaurs!
Reply
:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014
Maybe to walk it sprawled its forelimbs out really far? It probably did little walking unless it had to, like an albatross. 
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:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Its proportions are very weird. Maybe it sprawled its forelimbs, or maybe had an erect stance like all the other pterosaurs.

But it's sure that it wasn't a good walker.

Reply
:iconyoult:
yoult Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Gracile Bat Lizard?
Actually it's Gracile Night Lizard.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

From Wikipedia: "Later that year, Marsh reclassified the species in its own genus, which he named Nyctosaurus, meaning "night lizard" or "bat lizard", in reference to the wing structure somewhat paralleling those of bats".

After all, everything with "bat" inside it's cooler. Like Bat-Man. Night-Man would sound rubbish. 

Reply
:iconyoult:
yoult Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Professional General Artist
Sounds like reference-less research on the side of Wikipedia...
True enough there are plenty bat-species with "nycto" in their names (Genus Nyctophilus), but that always refers to night.
Compare Nyctophobia and Nyctophilia for example.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know that Wikipedia isn't exactly the most valid source but... Bat Lizard is too awesome, end of the story :P .
Reply
:iconeykoart:
EykoArt Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Student General Artist
The drawing is amazing in itself, but what I like best about this one is the simple differentiation in the shading—stippling on the wings vs. lines on the crest and beak. I can almost feel the different textures from that alone!
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, that is a beautiful comment. Thanks :)
Reply
:iconislandmasters:
IslandMasters Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
The crest is nothing but pricise flight mechanics.
With a sail added, pressure point is positioned for full flight stability in any windforce !

See it fly on:

www.island-masters.de
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No head sail for Nyctosaurus. To learn more you can read this old post on Tetrapod Zoology: scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoolo…
Reply
:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional
You do nice work
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks
Reply
:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Uno dei più bei Nyctosauri qui su DA!
Sulla presenza o meno di una "vela" tra i due rami della cresta, mah... Ora come ora sono più sul fronte del sì, però non è da escludere che avesse davvero la cresta così, una specie di imitatore di cervi che solcava i cieli del Cretaceo ;)
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Grazie mille!
La questione della cresta è strana. Magari l'aveva, ma con le informazioni che ho letto sembrerebbe essere assente. Vedila come una cresta di Pteranodon biforcata. Se Pteranodon non aveva estensioni o quant'altro, per me anche Nyctosaurus non dovrebbe averne. Credo, non si sa mai ;)
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:iconkazuma27:
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Già ;)
Reply
:icontyrannosaurusimperat:
Molto bello, i colori sono azzeccatissimi. Come mai hai scelto questa posa?
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
A dire la verità non lo so XD . Mi è balenato in mente una sera con gli amici, me la sono annotata ed effetivamente ha funzionato. Anche se lo schizzo iniziale prevedeva le ali aperte in avanti, ma coprivano eccesivamente la testa ed il resto del corpo.
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:iconevenape:
Evenape Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Well, we may never know if Nyctosaurus' hands have keratin extensions as walking aids (which doesn't regularly fossilised)
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:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It would be interesting. But I'm not sure it absolutely hasn't any kind of fingers on its hand. It's such an oddity, even for pterosaurian standards. Maybe (but I'm saying this as a completely ignorant) on that specimen fingers are not preserved but they may be present in other specimens. But I can't tell for sure.
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:iconevenape:
Evenape Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Well, if it actually didn't have those digits I-III, wouldn't their walk would be similar to animals walking on their long ankles? Just like this one: [link] I could still see it being done...

I think it does actually not have the digits I-III since there aren't so many cosmopolitan predators and pathogens which specially targeted an animals three front digits, and fossils never lie (except when they're doctored)
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah it seems possible. The main problem is that one is an old reconstruction. I trust Martyniuk for a lot of reasons, but that restoration has weird proportion. For what I've seen, using skeletals made by Headden and Conway, the legs are shorter than that and the arms are even longer.
But I guess it's still a reasonable pose ;)
Reply
:iconevenape:
Evenape Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Well, it is an old reconstruction, I agree with that

Yep, I agree with you that it's still reasonable :)
Reply
:icontyrannosaurusrexus:
Tyrannosaurusrexus Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Because he's not our hero. he's a loud-ass guardian, a watchful protector. a dark flight.

Or, alternatively, nananananananananananananana BAT LIZARD!

But jokes aside, really awesome drawing, hard to believe these creatures could fly with such enormous crests
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahaha, it nwould be an awesome tv-series.
seriously though, thanks ;)
Reply
:iconseesamsketch:
SeeSamSketch Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student General Artist
Read the description. What an awesome freak of an animal.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, it surely is ;)
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So many prehistoric animals seem to be impossible creatures. This is one of the more extreme I must say.
I like the crest of hair? behind the actual crest.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot. Then wait for Tupandactylus! Oh my, you just have to see it ;)
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I eagerly await.
Reply
:iconoaglor:
Oaglor Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Pterosaurs were quadrupeds, if you wanted an answer about the legs.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know that, maybe I wrote it in the wrong way. I meant that with those little legs, compared to the enormous arms, it would be a bit difficult to use a quadrupedal pose. Not impossible, but imagine that. It blows your mind. Sort of.
Reply
:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student General Artist
Very good!
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconchrismasna:
ChrisMasna Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
This animal always reminds me to Pinocchio XD

I like white underwings too :)
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why Pinocchio XD ? By the way, thanks
Reply
:iconchrismasna:
ChrisMasna Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
Extremely long wooden appendage on the face. In this case not wooden, though.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, ok XD . I had a feeling about that, but I was not entirely sure. I don't know why, but it reminds me a magpie too. With antlers.
Reply
:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow!
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Simple but effective XD . Thanks ;)
Reply
:iconnovablue:
novablue Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Overcompensating much, those guys? XD
Either way, lovely drawing! I really need to learn more about pterosaurs...
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, they developed huge crests for compensate XD
By the way thanks ;)
Reply
:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
Seriously one of the most bizarre creatures to have ever existed. Great job.
Reply
:iconsmnt2000:
Smnt2000 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
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