Pteranodon (Papo)

2.7 (26 votes)

This figure is obviously based on the pterosaurs in Jurassic park 3 and, most egregiously, the creature has teeth. Interestingly, and pertinent to the very nature of this blog, there is an interesting story relevant to this figure…

papo pteranodon

Many cheap dinosaurs (known as ‘Chinasaurs’ in the dinosaur toy collecting community because they are typically manufactured there) have a habit of adding vicious teeth to each and every species of prehistoric creature, predatory stegosaurs and triceratops abound for example, and Pteranodons; the name means ‘winged and (ironically) toothless’, with a ferocious maw. And how us palaeontologists scoffed, for no large crested pterosaurs have teeth! Then a pterosaur was described in 2003 and named Ludodactylus. The name means ‘play finger’ as a tribute to the toothy rubber chinasaurs – this is a large crested pterosaur with a mouth full of teeth – a species ‘predicted’ by toy companies years in advance. In light of this discovery, apologists for the Papo line comfort themselves by pretending that the figure is in fact a Ludodactylus.

papo pteranodon

With the Exception of the teeth the Papo Pteranodon is pretty accurate and detailed. The only other major error I noticed is the lack of a pteroid bone in the wrist, otherwise the arms are really good – the number of digits and finger bones is spot on and you can even differentiate between the radius and ulna in the forearm – I suppose it makes sense for a large flying animal to be as skinny as possible. The wing membranes are narrow and join the body at the knee (I’m not sure what the consensus is at the moment – did the wings join at the body, knee, or ankle?), and there is a small tail supporting a membrane. The wings are concave below and curve towards the tip as if they are catching the wind – very dynamic pose.

The sunken eyes are bright yellow and convincing and there is a long pink tongue in the mouth, but the figure is overall dull and brown, which is a let down. Unlike some of the other papo figures, the lower jaw is not mobile so the jaws cannot be shut.

Available here for example ($7.95).

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Comments 8

  • […] that it’s toothless is nice; as many Pteranodon toys are sculpted with them (I’m looking at you Papo). Unlike with actual pterosaurs this toy’s wings attach at the hips, and not the legs where […]

  • I don’t like your reviews, because you’re exaggerating with this inaccuracy of Schleich figures! Of course, they make mistakes, but they’re not that bad! And Papo is not so wonderful! Both firms are great. In your review of Schleich WoH Allosaurus you’re hating it, but here, you were like: “This pteranodon has teeth, but it’s very accurate because it is actually a Ludodactylus. Papo rules!”. I want to tell you that figure ISN’T a Ludodactylus ’cause this pterosaur had shorter and flatter crest, and not pointy beak. You’re just favoring Papo.

  • Giving a Pteranodon teeth isn’t enough to make it a Ludodactylus! Ludodactylus has teeth of different lengths, with its teeth getting longer the closer they are to the front of its snout. The teeth right at the front of its snout are very long! Its teeth are also not close together throughout its mouth as they are in the Papo Pteranodon. The shape of the Papo Pteranodon’s jaws has no resemblance to the jaws of Pteranodon or Ludodactylus. This toy doesn’t even come close to looking like a real pterosaur, let alone a real animal.

  • to give this at least a scent of a structure, i’ll start with the head, which has, even if it lacked in teeth, completely wrong shape of the jaws. pteranodon had longer upper jaw than lower jaw and both jaws were slightly curved upwards.

    “…it makes sense for a large flying animal to be as skinny as possible…” Well, of course they were pneumatized, in fact, even the wing membrane has been pneumatized by air sacks in some derived pterosaurs (and pteranodon is a very advanced one), but they also weren’t as ultralight as previously thought. (quetzalcoatlus, for example, weighted its comfortable 200 – 250 kg, but flight still was a piece of cake for it)
    pterosaurs were very fleshy actually, with a great deal of musculature on the chest and arms. the fact you pointed out you could tell which bone is which shows an anatomical inaccurancy of the model. you should rather be able to tell which muscle is which when looking on pterosaur wing, when i put it to extreme.

    also, the wing membrane wasn’t just a sheet of skin, it was very stiff sturdy and it was, in fact, very different from bat wing membrane to which it’s been oftenly compared. it had a crosshatching structure of stiffening filaments, thin layer muscle, it contained ligament and also blood vessels and, in fact, the skin was on the outside.

    the biggest flaw i see, except for the teeth which have been discussed already, is the lack of furry (well, pycnofibrous) coat. this is exactly the place when one can add to the pterosaurian “bat-likeness” but always leaves it out. they didn’t have scaly skin, and they didn’t even bear a bare skin on most of their body.

    also, this pteranodon has completely wrongly posed legs, they should be splayed directly to sides, not held in this semi-bird-like stance, also, the supportive structures for uropatagium (membrane connecting legs with tail) are present, the uropatagium is missing and the tail, though pterodactyloid pterosaurs has short tail, was slightly longer in pteranodon than in other pterodactyloids (which puts this model closer to ludodactylus actually), because pteranodon reevolved this structure.

    all in all, this toy doesn’t even come close to the real nature of pteranodon, and it’s understandable, given it’s been made after one of the worst pteranodons in modern movie history, not even a bit in argeement with current knowledge, resting on myths 50 years old.

  • […] A more detailed review of this figure can be found here: […]

  • Exceptionally detailed, but really quite inaccurate. I could write a couple of pages as to what’s wrong with this, and while that might be the simple job of almost any academic when it comes to ‘dinosaur’ toys, there is a raft of basic information here that has clearly been steamrollered in order to present what people think pterosaurs looked like, rather than what we know they did look like. As ever, the pterosaurs get the short stick when all the research goes into making the nice accurate T. rexes…

  • the pteradon don’t have teeth
    it’s a Ludodactylus
    great toy

  • A great Pteranodon…I mean,Ludodactylus figure,exceptionally detailed 8)

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