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February 11
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Watchful by Eurwentala Watchful by Eurwentala
Nyctosaurus, the antler-headed pelagic pterosaur with competely ridiculous limbs. The forelimbs of Nyctosaurus actually lacked hands and resembled walking sticks rather than limbs. And the legs were tiny. The animal probably spent most of it's life on the wing.

I was sketching Nyctosaurus and had difficulty getting the legs to reach the ground in any sensible pose. The smarter half then suggested they don't necessarily need to. Perhaps the animal could lift itself up on the stilt-like forelimbs to have a look around. 

So here's a female Nyctosaurus preparing to lay her eggs, but before doing so, she checks that there are no potential nest robbers around. She's probably on a small oceanic island, safe from the fearsome terrestrial predators of Late Cretaceous.

Black markers and Photoshop.
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:iconcephalopodomorphist:
cephalopodomorphist Featured By Owner 15 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love the idea of pterosaurs standing on anterior arms. Sheather88 made something that look like this, it is very cool. I suppose they could maybe even walk like this if they had a sense of balance as good as flying animals living today.

sheather888.deviantart.com/art…
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:iconheytomemeimhome:
Heytomemeimhome Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
So it was basically an albatross with antlers?
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
Yeah, pretty much. :D

Except that there was only a single antler, and compared to Nyctosaurus, albatrosses are quite capable walkers and runners.
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:iconcmmdrsigma:
cmmdrsigma Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Hmmmm, I think we know why it went extinct...
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
Well, apart from the antler, Nyctosaurus was superbly adapted to its way of life. As there were no humans bringing new animals to oceanic islands, the island and seaside cliff environments wouls have been pretty much free of predators. It simply didn't need to be able to run. I suspect it might have been one of the most perfectly adapted oceanic fliers of all time. :)

As nyctosaurs lived very close to the end of Cretaceous, the asteroid impact was quite possibly what actually killed them off.
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:iconcybershot:
cybershot Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014
An impressive work!
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:iconpilsator:
pilsator Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful work! Really captures its weird proportions, and it works just as well with the Nyctosaurus scanning her surroundings as taking off. Great coloration too.
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:iconelectreel:
electreel Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Excellent illustration! Nyctosaurus must have been a really good equilibrist, maybe it used its crest to balance weight?
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:icondesorages:
DesOrages Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I never knew it lacked hands.

*so many people are now going to murder me...*
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014
Haha. I hope not.

It's not obvious from life reconstructions, as the hands of some other pterosaurs were so small they were practically invisible anyway. And some of the artists producing Nyctosaurus reconstructions actually have mistakenly given them hands.
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