The Imaginary Pterosaur family will soon have a new member: Tupandactylus imperator. Anhanguera’s body is also on the way. These are the skulls of the three imaginary pterosaurs so far (on a 1.00 x 1.20 m sheet of XPS foam):
Anhanguera has also gained new front (rostrum) teeth (it looks a lot more like the fossil now), and brain cavities; I also improved the shape of the head and the eye cavities.
The exhibit The Imaginary Pterosaur was transferred to a new museum, for only four days (SESC Centro, Campina Grande, PB, Brazil) during a multicultural event that happens during Carnival. It is flying over a garden facing the audience. After this exhibit it will travel back to São Paulo.
The Imaginary Pterosaur is imaginary, but it wants to be real. I started it as an art project, and it became a scientific model, so now whenever I have the chance of improving it, I will do so. I have received some suggestions and observations, which I will comment below.
1) The wingspan is too wide
No Guidraco body was yet discovered, so we don’t really know if it has smaller wings, or larger ones. The scientists who described the skull estimate the wingspan in about three meters, which I believe are based on estimates for Ludodactylus. The Imaginary Pterosaur has a 4 meter wingspan, based on actual fossils of Anhangüera and Ornitocheirus (which are related to Ludodactylus). So the larger wingspan is not really an error, it’s just a theory. Of course, I didn’t study enough pterosaurs to defend such theories, but I promise I will fix it if necessary when a full Guidraco skeleton is discovered.
2) The wing bones are too thick
Small details about bones can always be fixed. Longer, wider, flatter. Perhaps my wing falange bones are too thick. Is that true? I haven’t seen enough wing bones to be sure, and the ones I saw could have been crushed, since they are hollow. It would be great to flatten some bones. The skeleton would become lighter! I will consider fixing that when I have good evidence (a well-preserved transversal slice, for example) that the wing bones were indeed much flatter.
3) The hands are incorrectly assembled
That is true. I mistakenly assembled the hands upside-down. Thank you all of you who pointed that out, specially David Peters for the detailed article showing how the carpals should be positioned. I plan to fix this as soon as possible. I am going to try a quick fix during the current exhibition.
Any other suggestions are always welcome.
From January 18th to February 8th the Imaginary Pterosaur can be seen at Museu de Arte Assis Chateaubriand (MAAC) in Campina Grande, PB (Brazil).
Besides the skeleton, the exhibit also includes educational panels about pterosaurs and paleontology, and a section with photos showing the process used to build the model out of foam.
Visitors also get a free cut-out-your-own-pterosaur kit!
Download the PDF below, print the three pages, cut out the parts, paste them together, and you will have your own Guidraco.
For best results use thick 180 g/m2 paper (122 lb). Take some time to study the parts. Cut it out carefully. Fold as indicated and paste one tab at a time. It’s not so complicated but it does require some concentration. The pterosaur will have a wingspan of 50cm (20 in).
If you wish, you can try this smaller one, which fits in one page:
It’s a bit harder to cut and paste. The wingspan is 30 cm (12 in) wide. The image above links to a JPG, which can be scaled to fit in larger pages. It is also available as PDF in borderless A4 format.
A videoclip from the Brazilian band Mustache & os Apaches shows a full-sized pterosaur skeleton hanging on the wall. It was recorded during the Serrinha Art Festival and The Imaginary Pterosaur was used as part of the scenery.
I reassembled Guidraco, this time in a crawling position:
The same position, without suspending the head and neck:
At XIII Festival de Arte de Areia (Areia, PB, Brazil)
During the first two days, it was flying over everyone.
During the last two days, it was in a “taking off” position.
Tibiae and feet
Wing tip: third and fourth phalanges of the fourth finger (wing)
Wing tip: second phalanx of the fourth finger (wing)
Wing tip: first phalanx of the fourth finger (wing)
Hand and three fingers
Carpals (wrist) and pteroid
Radius and ulna (forearm)
Body: tail, pelvis, chest (sternum), coricoid, neck
Body: tail, sacrum, rib-cage, scapulae, neck
The Imaginary Pterosaur was invited to participate in an exhibit during an art festival next week (13o. Festival de Artes de Areia, in Areia, PB, Brazil). So, one more time, the skeleton was unassembled. Now it can fit nicely in a small 60x20x25 cm box.