Khetzha — or, the ostrich if Pterosauria out-competed Aves.
I aimed to reinvent a creature that I first imagined in high school. It was originally some kind of bipedal theropod or reptile, and I decided to instead make it a descendant of Azhdarchid pterosaurs, which are my absolute favorite family of animals. The original beast had vestigial nub-like arms, but since pterosaurs favored their forelimbs in terrestrial locomotion, I did away with the rear instead.
In hindsight, I think I should have reduced the antorbital fenestra to give the skull more heft, and to give support to the boss above it. I also think that the cervical vertebrae should have developed more bony supports over time, but I’ll attribute that to my lack of imagination on adapting the already bizarrely long vertebrae of Pterosauria.
The purpose of this illustration is part of motivating myself to build a world that I’ve ignored over the past six years, one that I want so badly to write about. It is a low-fantasy setting, I suppose an alternate earth. I decided that with the Khetzha, a common mount of the people of the desert Urom in this world, I would begin filling in the landscape with a few creatures that might exist if pterosaurs and some of my other favorite palaeo-beasts had survived.