Giant storks of doom. That's what azhdarchids are. Enormous stalking and nightmarish cranes. Nature is always really incredible and rich. They're probably the most interesting beasts that ever soared the skies, along with tapejarids. And nowo t think such an animal with an height of 5 meters is just astounding. And that particular animal is Quetzalcoatlus northropi.
The name says all. A pterosaur named after an aztec god must be incredible. And it's true. With Thalassodromeus and Tupandactylus, this is by far my most favourite pterosaur ever. There is something in this animals that make them so iconic. In "The Alarming Lizard" I said that tyrannosaurids are the most similar things to real dragons. But I was wrong. These archosaurs are the real ones. Our mind couldn't possibly think that such creatures were once real.
Anyway, as I said before, this is Quetzalcoatlus. It's well known but to restore it properly with a more "complete" version I used the skeletal restoration of Zhejiangopterus, the best preserved azhdarchid. The wing membrane was a real mess: the leg attachment is very tricky. Oh, and I chosed for a "hairy" patagium too. Since a specimen of the little anurognathid Jeholopterus could POSSIBLY have pycnofibres even on its wings and since I also wanted to celebrate the amazing Larry Felder's works, I decided to put 'em in this restoration as well. Maybe I'll fix that when I'll know more about it. Another peculiar thing is the crest. I saw everywhere on the net the same shaped crests (the little triangle one or the almost shoe-shaped one) but from what I know there is no reason that Quetzalcoatlus couldn't have a cheratinous crest similar to that of many other pterosaurs, including Pterorhynchus, Darwinopterus and its relative Tupandactylus. I think it's original and yet plausible. We'll see about that.
And this is it. Hope you like it.
Quetzalcoatlus was a pterodactyloid pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Maastrichtian stage, about 68–65.5 million years ago), and one of the largest known flying animals of all time. It was a member of the Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Its name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatlus is distinguished like many azhdarchids by his relatively large head and long, spear-like jaws. It had been suggested azhdarchids were skimmers, but further research has cast doubt on this idea, demonstrating that they lacked the necessary adaptations for a skim-feeding lifestyle, and that they may have led a more terrestrial existence similar to modern storks.While some studies have historically found extremely low weight estimates for Quetzalcoatlus, as low as 70 kilograms for a 10-meter individual, a majority of estimates published since the 2000s have been higher, and the tend toward 200–250 kilograms. A skull crest was present but its exact form and size are still unknown.
Coloured with Pantone. Based on: jabiru
References: Mark Witton, Mike Hanson, Larry Felder
PS: Sorry for the colours's quality, bad scanner