Tupuxuara: thoracic vertebrae and the notarium, part I


I have six photos of the notarium: the six thoracic vertebrae fused together at the pterosaur’s back. I have no photos of the individual vertebrae, and since I want to have as much detail as possible I used other photos of other notariums and thoracic vertebrae as a reference. I also inferred vertebral shape by looking at the last cervical vertebrae of the Tupuxuara.

I started carving the notarium in one piece.


Then I started adding details on the sides with strips of foam.


After that, I separated the vertebrae.


The specimen I am using as a reference has no ribs on the last two thoracic vertebrae, but that doesn’t mean it did not actually have ribs. I might add them later. The photo that shows the notarium seen from behind reveals details of the last vertebra. So I worked on these two first.

last two

Then I started working on vertebrae three and four.

three and four

Here are some pictures of the unfinished notarium without any ribs.


testing w cerv

Testing the connection to the rest of the spine:


And checking what it will look like when connected to the rest of the pterosaur.


It’s easier to add details to vertebrae 3 and 4 with the ribs in place. I made them hollow, using two halves of foam, and using smaller bits of foam to fill the gaps, add detail and strengthen its base. I then connected the notarium together to compare with the photos.

with four

Here are the last four thoracic vertebrae of the notarium seen from the back. I still need to fix some details.


Now I started working on the first and second vertebrae. This is part of vertebra no. 2.

number two

And here vertebra no. 2 with a bit more detail.


Now I can test the connection of the whole notarium.




The shape still does not match the photo. I have to do some twisting, cutting and reshaping before finishing. In the next post I will show the complete notarium.

1 Comment

Filed under Pterosaur #5: Tupuxuara

One response to “Tupuxuara: thoracic vertebrae and the notarium, part I

  1. Pingback: Making of a Tupuxuara | The Imaginary Pterosaur

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