Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Smaug, Sherlock, & Pterosaurs

So, guess who got a DVD copy of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug yesterday.

So I decided to continue my "Nerd Problems" series in honor of Smaug.

Confession time: I did not actually think those exact words when I first saw Smaug. Actually, I thought this: "Oh my gosh! He looks like an azhdarchid pterosaur! AWESOME!!!"

The better-informed nerd paleontologist afficiandoes on TVTropes, however, have stated that Smaug's body design is more reminiscent of an ornithocheiroid pterosaur, so I will follow their lead. Nevertheless, 'azhdarchid' is an infinitely cooler word than 'ornithocheiroid'. The Persian word for 'dragon' beats the Greek for 'bird hand' any day. Also, Quetzalcoatlus northropi is an azhdarchid, which makes that genus 20% more awesome.

Also, I found this highly amusing picture while looking up large pterosaurs:

That's right. Some artist seriously took the time to compare Arambourgiania philadelphiae to Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes, of Sherlock, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously. They even drew his purple scarf! I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it. "Surely not," I thought. "They wouldn't actually put Sherlock in a pterosaur diagram."

Nevertheless, I clicked on the image to enlarge it. Sure enough, it was Sherlock. I immediately knew I had to blog it. (Don't believe me? Go to the Wikipedia article.)

Since I've seen so many fanart of Smaug wearing Sherlock's purple scarf, it seemed only appropriate that these pictures should end up in the same post together.

Also, they are not 'pterodactyls'. That refers only to the members of one specific type of pterosaur. The name for all prehistoric flying reptiles is pterosaur - Greek for 'winged reptile'. Get your facts straight, people.

Yes, it bothers me every time I see 'pterodactyl' misused now.

In Pace Christi,


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