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
Edit: added a better picture!
On my blog too: ktboundary-smnt2000.blogspot.i…
Ps: sorry for the colours' quality. Bad scanner.
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.
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.