Nemicolopterus (Tracy) (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

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Nemicolopterus was an early Cretaceous genus of pterodactyloid from China that made headlines upon its discovery in 2008. With only a 10” wingspan the single specimen we have is also the smallest of pterosaur fossils found, excluding hatchlings. What’s more is that Nemicolopterus is thought to have been an inland forest dweller with adaptations on the limbs suitable for climbing trees. The single specimen that exists is not a fully grown adult, but not a hatchling either. Darren Naish has suggested the Nemicolopterus is actually a juvenile Sinopterus which lived in the same time and place. If a valid genus than Nemicolopterus helps remind us just how diverse pterosaurs as a group were, having produced small forest dwellers such as these along with the gigantic Quetzalcoatlus and its kin with their 30’+ wingspan.

Pterosaurs as a group don’t get the attention that their cousins the dinosaurs do. When reproduced as collectibles the traditional go-to is the well known Pteranodon, with Quetzalcoatlus showing up fairly often, and more recently Dimorphodon as well. Most of the smaller more benign animals get sidelined and the PNSO Nemicolopterus is the first and only figure of this genus that I’m aware of.

The moment I first noticed this wide-eyed, elegant little pterosaur suggested on Amazon, I knew it was a must have for me. In addition to being positively adorable it’s also a very eye-catching figure. I’m also a sucker for resting pterosaur models. When I received it I was surprised by just how much PNSO has improved with their mini figures in the last couple years since I acquired one. The first wave of minis was okay but this latest batch far exceeded my expectations. They’re generally larger, more detailed, and sturdier than their predecessors.

What’s immediately striking about this 4” little figure is its very sleek design, bright and bold color palate, and prominently large eyes and beak. While many pterosaur toys shrink the wings down to some extent that’s not the case here and the swept back folded wings are graceful and appear fully capable of transporting this small critter about the forest.

The large head and beak sit atop a small spindly neck and lithe little body. The eyes are big, bright, and black with white rings around them, giving the animal an alert and active appearance. The color choices are bold but realistic with an orange body accentuated by black stripes down the back and across the wing tips. The head is mostly black but fades to orange at the nape and neck. The prominent beak is bright baby blue with black along the top, and some white highlights. The paint is well applied for such a small figure. My only real complaint is that since the wings are so thin they’re prone to warping.

The PNSO Nemicolopterus gets high marks all around and now counts among my all time favorite pterosaur figures. Its lifelike appearance and detailed craftsmanship make it easy to envision a flock of these agile pterosaurs flitting around the forest canopy 120 million years ago. Highly recommended, this figure is currently going for $7.99 on Amazon.

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