Flying a pterosaur

Pteranodon life-cycle

Finally got my hands on a teenage pterosaur cast! Pteranodon ingens juvenile, named ‘Ptweety’, is the world’s tiniest pterosaur. It is twice the size of a hypothetical hatchling, but is four times smaller than a full-grown adult. The original specimen from the Late Cretaceous, held in a private collection, was discovered by Kenneth Jenkins of Ellis, Kansas.

An accompanying opinion about casts. Non-collectors frequently downplay the significance of displaying dinosaur casts, without realising that many museum displays of dinosaurs in action are really casts. This is because the fossil imprints, being constituted of stone, tend to be incomplete, sometimes deformed, and frequently too heavy to mount in 3D. Casts are a great alternative – as long as they are recognised as such – because they are more affordable, anatomically accurate and therefore great for research and educational purposes, more complete than the originals, and can be replicated for widespread study. It would be lovely to see more actual fossils placed in museums where they belong, and private collectors seeing the true value of casts.
 
So here are the steps i took to assemble Ptweety’s cast:
 
1. Removing cast from mold
 
  2. Trimming and sanding the cast for accuracy
 
 
 
 
3. Benchmarking against scaled models for anatomical accuracy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Paint mixing against acutal pteranodon teeth for colour accuracy
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Colour and texture finishing realism when painting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. Standby for 3D mounting with epoxy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Drilling the first of 3 holes in the ceiling
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 8. Attaching a fishing-wire harness on centers of balance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 9. Suspendable at face level for inspection
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 10. Hoisted to ceiling height
 
 
 
 
I found Ptweety particularly appealing because of its rarity and because there’s no way I could fit the 20ft wingspan of an adult pteranodon in my study! But mostly because it reminded me of my country, also a kind of teenager who yet has found wings to soar. Happy 46th birthday Singapore!
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About chuyeeming

Just another passionate collector of fossils
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2 Responses to Flying a pterosaur

  1. Nicely done!
    I would suggest you put a large long crest on your model. The crest was not preserved, but juvenile Tupuxuara show that the crest did not arrive with maturity, but preceded it, and Ptweety is most closely related to the P. ingens, the large, long crested species. Small crests belong to other species.

    Also, spread those hind legs more and it will be perfect. See for data:
    reptileevolution.com/pteranodon-skulls.htm
    reptileevolution.com/pterosaur-wings.htm
    reptileevolution.com/tupuxuara-goshura.htm

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