Crystal Palace pterosaurs

Today it’s the turn of the two pterosaurs, or more specifically, Pterodactylus. As noted before, all early pterosaurs went by this name, but it’s clear that these really are based on that genus. There are obviously some bird-like influences in the necks and heads – anyone working from an actual skeleton would realise the head should be as big as neck and the body, but instead is much smaller and overall these are swan-like proportions. Still, the wings are nice and broad and ‘membraneous’ with no extra fingers to support it or anything. More intriguingly, one at least is in a nicely quadrupedal posture and really very close to how we envisage them walking today.
In this case there was sadly quite a lot of overgrowth on the tree and so the second model was not very well exposed, though I was able to at least get decent shots of the open wings (if not the head). These must have been tricky to sculpt in concrete, though I recall Darren Naish talking about them having been damaged by vandals before and perhaps the hew ones are of a different material. They still require some repair as you will note that one is lacking a lower jaw sadly. Still, these were great to see and generally nicely done.

1 Response to “Crystal Palace pterosaurs”


  1. 1 Mark Robinson 13/10/2011 at 1:40 am

    The quadrupedal stance does look surprisingly modern. The blurb on the sign (photo img_6737.jpg) says something about them being restored from photographs after the damaged originals were removed.


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