Unlike my previous pterosaur reconstructions, where I made the skull with the final result in mind, this time I decided to model individual skull bones as closely as possible. This is investigative work and it allows me to test the connections, articulations and have a better understanding of its anatomy. I also believe that this will result in an even more accurate and robust model.
Using several different specimens as sources, and reconstructions based on some specimens, I was able to compare details and choose the ones that were best preserved. I made and will make some changes based on that. The palate, for example, was initially modeled from a reconstruction based on AMNH 24440. I now plan to adjust it based on the perfectly preserved palate from IMCF 1061 (unfortunately I still have not received authorization to publish the original photos here so they can be compared).
The lower jaw (mandible) is practically finished. I just need to review it with the sources and make minor adjustments before working on the texture (with fire) and finishing it with acrylic modeling paste.
The part which contains the rostrum, the crest, maxilla, palate, etc. and part of the caudal bones of the skull is also nearly finished, but I will have to fix the palate to adapt it to the IMCF specimen (I will merge them with the visible details of the AMNH specimen).
I am now working on the neurocranium, which also includes part of the orbit, frontal, parietal, squamosal and a posterior crest. Making this separately will allow me to work on the details of the braincase, which will be partially visible.
There are some other smaller parts which I am making separately: two quadrates (which articulate with the lower jaw), two sets including the quadratojugal and nearby structures, and two lacrimal bones. I decided to make these separately because they are very well preserved in several specimens, so I can focus on the details.
Here are some more photos of the Tapejara so far. In the next post I will publish photos of the neurocranium. The skull should be finished by the end of this week.
Many thanks to Brian Andres, Hebert Bruno Campos and Felipe Pinheiro who provided me with information, sources and feedback which allowed me to improve this model.