Pterosaur mounts

One thing I did not cover at the Sino-German fossil park was their excellent collection of pterosaur mounts. Obviously I do like my pterosaurs and I wish they would get a little bit more attention in the average museum ‘dinosaur’ hall since this is often limited to a token Pteranodon and some facts about Quetzalcoatlus being really big. Here they have made a good effort and not just to include them as hanging models* but also on the ground and mixed in with the other exhibits. Naturally a I took a bunch of pictures of them and here are some of those for your interest – since these are all hand-made they include taxa not normally featured in fossil displays since if you are making the thing from scratch, not having any bones to cast from is not much of an issue and you can make what you want.

Tapejara (for a given value of Tapajara – I’m not entirely sure which taxon this is supposed to be, probably T. wellnhoferi and the taxonomy of the group is a bit up in the air right now).

Tupuxuara (again, slightly uncertain taxonomy – pretty common for pterosaurs – and several closely related taxa are known with various crest morphologies).

Azdarcho (a real composite mount, not much is known of this genus).

*I have heard that often it’s a big problem for many museums to string their pterosaurs from the ceiling because (inevitably) ‘health and safety’ regulations. Which is a shame as it can help make really good displays and show off these animals in the air. However, I do think a mixture is best where you can see pterosaurs in flight and on the ground as they are pretty unusual animals in either locomotory mode.

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5 Responses to “Pterosaur mounts”


  1. 1 pterossauros 01/12/2009 at 9:21 pm

    The correct name is Tapejara and not ‘Tapajara’. Yes, the taxon figured is T. wellnhoferi. The fronto-premaxillary crest is more higher and pointed that of others specimens.

  2. 3 mattvr 02/12/2009 at 7:31 am

    Dave, how are they ‘making these from scratch’? Can you describe the process?

  3. 5 Zach Miller 03/12/2009 at 10:18 am

    Personally, I like seeing pterosaurs in climbing or walking positions–it’s a rarely-figured pose.


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