Origami Page:
     Pecking Pterosaur

Mary Ellen Palmeri

Welcome to our monthly "Origami Page". Origami is folding paper and ending up with delightful figures and models, such as flowers, boxes and animals. This feature will showcase a different origami model in each monthly issue, with diagrams and photos to help readers learn how to fold them. Most models use one square of paper, some use a rectangle, and others use more than one piece of paper.



This origami model is fun to make and fun to share with others. I adapted it from a traditional interactive model to fit my 'Prehistoric Origami' workshops. After folding the pterosaur you hold it by the wings and gently pull them apart to activate the 'pecking' action of the beak.

Note that this model shows both sides of the paper when completed: the lower section of the beak will reveal one side of the paper while the rest of the creature will show the other side. But if you fold it from paper that is the same on both sides, you won't notice this. Check the photos to see both variations.

Pterosaurs are winged reptiles that first appeared during the Triassic period, 215 million years ago, and thrived for 150 million years before going extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. Pterosaur is the proper name for the more commonly known term "pterodactyl". Fossil discoveries have brought to light that pterosaurs came in all sizes and shapes, and it is fun to make them from many sizes of paper.

A little information about these creatures: The largest pterosaur was almost as tall as a giraffe with a 35 foot wingspan, and the smallest was about the size of a small bird, like a sparrow. Although they are winged, they were not built like birds at all. It was not uncommon for the head and neck to be 3 or 4 times the size of the torso, which is why I think this model works so well for this prehistoric animal!

Happy Folding!

Origami Page

Origami originated in ancient Asian cultures and has been adapted by contemporary artists worldwide to reflect their own cultures. Local artist Mary Ellen Palmeri has incorporated paper folding into many of her mixed media art paintings, and teaches origami classes locally and nationally. Some of her work can be seen in a Tucson Happenings feature here: Artist_Profile

All of her Paper Dream Paintings can be seen in her Etsy shop where custom matted art prints of her original work can be purchased.   Go to: www.etsy.com/shop/LyricFineArts

Ms. Palmeri's original origami models have been published in books and magazines, she has been featured on broadcast media, and her mixed-media fine art works often include various original origami models. Origami LAFF (Lyric Arts Folding Fest) is a Tucson based club founded by Ms. Palmeri to provide a venue for sharing this art. The group meets monthly at a local library; for more details please contact the artist at info@lyric-arts.com

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