Swooping into the Vintage Dinosaur Art spotlight this week is Pteranodon, another book in the Rourke dinosaur series. It’s a sneaky move, since pterosaurs aren’t dinosaurs of course, but they were their neighbors and an important part of Mesozoic menagerie. So we’ll allow it. Written by Ron Wilson, the title’s illustrations were provided by Doreen Edwards, who drew many of the books in the series.
One thing I like about Rourke’s dinosaur library is that it depicts prehistoric animals as animals, not monsters. Edwards does quite a nice job at accurately depicting our old ornithocheirid friend. As shown below, she makes sure to adorn them with plenty of fuzz, and stays away from the fallacious “bat wing” configuration that sometimes pops up in old books. The only bony support Pteranodon’s wing has here is its incredibly long fourth finger.
Nor does she make the common mistake of outfitting Pteranodon with teeth.
It’s almost purely Pteranodon action in this title, though a trio of Triceratops pop up momentarily.
I do have one little bone to pick, and it concerns the following page. Looking at the drawing, it looks like a big Pteranodon scolding a smaller one.
Based on the text, it’s actually a depiction of one Pteranodon sneaking about while his comrades are sleeping. The second Pteranodon isn’t smaller, it’s on a lower level of the cliff. The image is the first thing I took in when I turned to the page, and it threw me for a loop. It’s probably just me.
Finally, here’s a jolly drawing of our hero soaring through the night sky.
More from this book, and many others, at the Vintage Dinosaur Art flickr pool. If this post whetted your appetite for pterosaurs, be a peach and visit Pterosaur.net.