A brightly colored creature swoops down to land on the branch above. Its head is overly large, with a mouth full of sharp teeth and bright, shiny eyes. The thing chirps, lashes its long thin tail, and then with a flap of leathery wings is in the air once again.
Environment warm coastline or forest
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (3–9)
Pterosaurs are often found in regions where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are commonly encountered, yet they are not dinosaurs themselves. The pteranodon is the most well known and widespread of these flying reptiles, but numerous other species exist, such as the relatively small rhamphorhynchus, the venomous dimorphodon, and the lumbering, giraffe-sized quetzalcoatlus. While the larger pterosaurs are awkward fliers, the smaller ones can be quite agile and quick. Pterosaurs generally dwell on coastlines, along rivers, or near swamps or lakes, for the majority of their diet consists of fish snatched from the water in daring dives. Pterosaurs are quite territorial, though, and most won’t hesitate to swoop down and hiss, shriek, and attack things their size or larger.
The dimorphodon is a robust pterosaur with a distinctively large skull—yet numerous hollows in the skull keep the creature’s weight rather low and allow it greater agility. The dimorphodon’s jaws contain two separate rows of differently shaped teeth: several larger fangs near the front (which are used to grip prey and inject poison) and a much larger number of smaller, sharp teeth along the rest of the jaw (used to cut through flesh). This unusual combination of different teeth is why in some areas the dimorphodon is known as the “fangbird” or the “vampire lizard,” although they don’t actually drink blood. Dimorphodons normally feed on fish, small reptiles, and birds, but when particularly hungry, flocks of these creatures have been known to gang up on larger prey, swooping in to bite and then retreating to watch from nearby cliff ledges or tree branches while the victim slowly succumbs to the poison. Once the creature is rendered helpless, the flock descends to eat its victim alive.
Dimorphodons are particularly easy to train, and they’re often used as guardians by local tribes or kept as exotic pets in larger cities. A Handle Animal check to train a dimorphodon is made with a +4 bonus, and a dimorphodon can know one bonus trick of its trainer’s choice once it is fully domesticated.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #37: Souls for Smuggler’s Shiv. © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: James Jacobs.