Saturday, August 18, 2012

What is a Pterobat?

What is a Pterobat?

So, my blog name. It's the result of trying to change my Internet Name after over a decade of using it. It finally occurred to me that "Incisivis" wasn't the easiest thing to spell, pronounce, or remember, just as it eventually occurred to me that "Dragonclaw", my previous one, was uncreative and probably made me sound like a dopey furry. Being that way, I eventually settled on "Pterobat".

"Pterobat" is obviously a combination of the words "pterosaur" and "bat", two of my favourite things, and it has a certain ring to it. I started using it to refer to a certain style of wing found on the characters of Disney's Gargoyles series: characters who had tiny hands on their wings and a single supporting rib, but with the wing's edge being notched to suggest there was further, "invisible" ribbing. I never used it this very much this way, and so repurposing it was easy.

Today, I think of "pterobat" as referring to that certain kind of biologically inaccurate pterosaur which has batlike wings (hands included or not), usually also mixing features from different species. I also kept thinking of alien animals from the Transformers cartoon that might be called pterobat-like.  Shrikebats, first mentioned in the movie, and depicted in the episode "Chaos" of the original TV series, and a similar, smaller creature called Groyle is also seen in the episode "Madmans Paradise".

Picking the name rises from my pterosaur obsession, which I've had since childhood. I collect pterosaur junk and know a few things about things, and also wait for the day when a pterosaur-based fictional character doesn't suck. I don't know why I like pterosaurs like I do, but I don't mind pterobats at all.

The current blog header is derived from a piece of art by Edward Newman, and it actually is an early attempt at depicting a pterosaur. According to his Wikipedia entry (*sigh*) this was Newman interpreting a pterosaur as a mammalian creature, a "marsupial bat", and he published this in an 1843 edition of The Zoologist. Interesting if true, since it makes my header selection pretty on-the-nose, when I didn't know the origin of the art at first.

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