Adding a new pterosaur to the family

Two days ago I was looking for lost keys when I found a medium-sized sheet of XPS foam (63 x 40 cm). It was blank, new, unused, but there was something hidden in it. I had to dig it up. I was almost sure it was a pterosaur skull, so I started immediately.

I googled Anhanguera and there it was. Guidraco’s Brazilian cousin. So I did some quick research and found some fossils and diagrams to start the excavation. I used this diagram as a guide for the skull and marked it on the foam:

2013-02-05 16.48.07

The skull is big. I used the full 63cm of the foam sheet.

I cut out the two halves, slightly larger than the marked lines.

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I trimmed the edges on top of the head and beak, and then pasted those edges together. I did the same with the bottom of the mandible. That was almost an hour of work. Then I let it dry.

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After a couple of hours the glue on top was reasonably firm. Enough so I could spend the next hour pressing the foam carefully to give it shape. It’s important to press and then bend. If you bend without pressing it will crack. Pressing makes the foam softer, and will allow you to model it and even fold it completely. Well, then I trimmed a bit, and repasted the parts that didn’t stay together. I placed a piece of foam to keep the sides apart, and the result can be seen in the photos below.

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I did a bit more Internet research looking for pictures which showed the inner cavities of the skull, fossils, and other models of the Anhanguera. There aren’t many detailed pictures of the inside, bottom or back of any skull. I got most of the information from this site and this other one. Both are models and are different. Since I am not carving, but building, I decided to add the basic structures that hold the skull together, since later I can add some modeling clay to fix it.

This is the result after some 3 hours of work:

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The black stains are because of the foam glue, which reacts when in contact with the foam.

These pictures show some details of the inside of the head so far.

head 3 head1

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Filed under Pterosaur #2: Anhanguera

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