Pokéology: Aerodactyl

Hey guys! It’s been a while. We had all that stuff with the hack, which was really frustrating, and then last week we had a lot of technical difficulties. So I haven’t had a post in probably three weeks!

It’s great to be back from the dead though.. Speaking of which..

Aerodactyl is a pretty great fella, isn’t he? I’ve always loved him. So much dinosaur with hints of a dragon, it’s really a pretty awesome design. Sure, Pterodactyls were much more colorful than this guy, but since he’s a rock it really goes well with the typing. I was actually planning on picking him before this whole mess though! Haha.

Basis

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You definitely know the gist of what this is, but I can get much more specific in a second.

Aerodactyl is definitely based on a Pterodactyl, I mean, I can’t even imagine what else it could be. Sure, there’s some mythical creatures we can discuss, but for the most part, the features are very specific.

Actually, they’re so specific I can give you the genus species name.

Rhamphorhynchus muensteri.

Now, how did I get the genus species name of an extinct animal with many variations? Well, let’s see something. See that picture up there? That would be Muensteri. Start to see how it might be the exact basis? Well here’s some help. Aerodactyl has teeth and a distinctive tail ending on its long tail. Unlike most people assume, only specific pterodactyls actually have teeth. Teeth were the first thing to narrow it down for me, but then we get into the tail. Sure, many Pterodactyls have tail endings, but this fella had a very specific tail that it was predominately known for.  They have very similar wings and feet proportions, and generally seem aesthetically similar.

 

This one is pretty apparent, I mean, sure, the very same design could come without any influence by the Wyvern, but– let’s take a step back and look at some the dragon type moves it has and the fact it’s on Lance’s team. Sure, a Pterodactyl would be enough of a lizard-dragon for Lance, but there’s some clear influence.

The Wyvern is a beautiful species of Dragon– it’s always been one of my favorites. This influenced my love for Aerodactyl growing up, since I always went straight to the Wyvern when I saw it. The thing that makes it really apparent is the tail that ends in an arrowhead, which is a clear indicator of a Wyvern. Next, we can see the horns and jawline on Aerodactyl points very much towards the Wyvern, since Pterodactyls naturally have no horns and normally have a beak-like mouth. Moving on the the general body shape, Wyverns also have clawed wings, much like Pterodactyls.

Actually, Pterodactyls and Wyverns have always been compared since the discovery of the Pterodactyl, and some people suggest living Pterodactyls influenced the myths of the Wyvern, but I think it’s debatable that we would have recently-dead Pterodactyls anywhere.

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Biology

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This is a beast in every definition of the  term. It has everything it needs to rip apart its foes, and is plenty enough streamlined to egress from a bigger fight.

So let’s summarize some of the key features on this fella. We see a clearly defined snout with a set of saw-like teeth on the bottom, a notched upper jaw, two horns coming out of the dorsal side of the head, eyes placed on the front of the face, a large stomach, two large wings– each with hands on them with three joined fingers coming off of them, a large, long tail with a barbed end, a strange hump on the dorsal side of the stomach, and two sturdy legs, each with two toes on them.

First, let’s look at that jaw. It has a set of serrated teeth alongside a hooked upper jaw, which implies it uses them to dig into its prey and cut. Clearly, it could rip through the toughest of hides and hold on.

Next, we can see it has some fantastic wings. Judging by the fact its body is 5’11” feet in length, the wings would be 5’11 in length. Visually, it looks like the wings are an average of 2 feet in depth, so we can theoretically calculate what kind of lift the airfoil could produce.

Making a quick mock up of the wings from the averages, we can see the airfoil would easily produce 300 pounds of lift, giving it well over the 130 pounds that Aerodactyl weighs. Although, these calculations are made with a sturdy model rather than a flexible model such as a bird’s wing– this would produce even more lift from the force exerted downwards. So we can also see that it would have a good top speed, having around a  3 to 1 thrust ratio in a rigid model alone.

As for the claws on these wings, it has bendable fingers to latch onto its prey, supposedly much bigger than itself, and dig into it. One could imagine a swarm of Aerodactyls working together to bring down massive prey, but this guy could bring down plenty of monsters working only on its own.

Most references point to it living in the mountains, though it would be very easy to imagine it perching in mountain caves and flying into the plains and woods to go after larger prey that would shy away from rigid terrain.  It venturing into woodlands would also help explain the tree sap and amber it gets found in, as such harsh mountains wouldn’t be friendly ground for trees to grow.

Most of the Pokédex articles refer to its high pitched screeches, which could easily disorientate prey as well as  cause panic. They may also be used for echolocation in the dark, as high pitched cries are simple to use in echolocation. This could mean that Aerodactyl could be invisible in the sky by its dark colors, only to swarm in masses of high pitched screeches as they flock down to their unfortunate prey.

So all in all, it sure is a beast!

 

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I got a little carried away with some fun math and science for the biology, but hey, isn’t it fun to calculate air foils? I think every winged Pokémon I do will get similar treatment from now, if possible. But the one thing to remember is that these are rigid airfoils, so they don’t get the exact same result. Still, it’s a good estimate of some thrust/weight and lift, so it still gives us some ideas.

So hope you had fun this week! I miss writing these things, and I have to get back into the swing of things. Comments? Questions? Problems?

So, do you want Aerodactyl to evolve, or leave it be as the only single stage fossil?

  1. Great article as always.

    I personally think, aero-estimations seems a bit empty, as what you’re mentioning is just very simplified overlook on few things . Because of that it leaves an unfinished taste on your mouth. Which makes you think, yes there we have something, but it is absolutely not “the thing”.

    And for me it seems like it is too late for Aerodatyl to evolve.

    And lastly, are you a dragon-frenzy or something, every article of yours has a random dragon in it.

    1. It’s a rough estimation, which is still good enough of an example to show how well it could fly.

      Secondly, not really. Sure, in the past five posts, I’ve done three dragon related pokemon, but in 18 articles, I’ve only done like 4/5 that are dragon related. So no, not really. I do love dragon Pokemon in general, but that’s not affecting my choices.

      I agree about the evolution however.

      1. Do I sometimes sound offensive, just wondering. If I do, that’s my grain actually, you know 🙂

  2. I, for one, liked the aeronautic aspect you included in this post. It gives you an air of credibility that is more apparent in this post than in others.

    I, too, think that it’s a bit late for Aerodactyl to evolve, and I don’t think I’d appreciate a pre-evolution either. It’s been engraved in my mind as a stand-alone pokemon.

    1. I’m an aeronautics freak, since I plan on joining the U.S. Air Force as a pilot. So I love being able to mess around with aeronautics for a Pokemon article! It also gives you some ability to see that these Pokemon are actually flyable, and some idea of their speed.

      Yeah. Same here! It really seems standalone to me.

  3. I dont really know that by what you are saying about aerodactyl can be pitted against the overwhelming power of shaymins ears. See…aerodactyl needs to drive the booty
    Where as shaymin can
    Aerodactyl seems to just ride along with the booty
    If you ever wanna get that thing a jerkin and workin and catch em all and become the champ.
    You cant just ride along you got to uh….
    Drive the booty

  4. I have a funny question for you. Do you think it is possible for a Pidgey to carry the weight of a trainer like Ash with the amount of lift that it produces. Use the weight of the trainer that they give in the Pokedex (I think they did that in DPPt)

  5. Personally, I think that Aerodactyl needs an evolution/type change. Every time I go on random matchup, somebody has a ridiculously fast pokemon w/ ice beam. And it’s japanese. Is there something that pokemon trainers in Japan do different like iv breeding, or do americans just act too aggressive? I think flying/steel would be a great type for aerodactyl’s evolution and skarmory won’t be alone in type. I feel for you with the hacking. My 14 year old younger brother got on my pokejungle account and left a 2-paragraph death threat for the hacker. 🙂 Luckily Dae found and removed it. Anyway, great article as usual and I was thinking that Elgyem would be cool for an upcoming article.

  6. Interesting article, although I sorta expected it to be one with evolutions due to the other weeks getting no articles… Could you try venonat next?

    1. I was off my game and didn’t feel like attempting much at the time!

      Venonat is one of the few extremely difficult ones, but I’ll look into it!

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