I like to believe that in pretty much epoch (as far back as the Cambrian period) that sustained complex life, there was always the potential to become intelligent, and that more often than not, such life would exploit that potential.
Just imagine; there could've been civilizations that predated humanity, possibly even tetrapods or even chordates, by eons and we don't even know it.
I really don't know... Crows seem to be better tool builders, but some parrots can be smart enough to talk and socialize with human beings. I'd still put my money on Parrots, but I'm not sure if anyone knows the answer.
Your brief description encapsulates why the Triassic is my favorite time period (followed by the Permian and the early Cenozoic).
This is perhaps my favorite of your speculative sentients yet. The beaked head makes it look so familiar and yet so strange. I always enjoy the way you play with odd proportions and shapes in your designs, and I love the long, slender body of this guy. The detail work of the scales is also among the best I've seen from you. I'm diggin' that long Aye-Aye finger as well.
Is the short story that Benson-Daniel mentioned your Hatzegopteryx Rape story, or another one that I missed?
This is sort-of related to the pyramids at the "Hatzegopteryx" story, but not directly. Thanks for your comments, my friend! The Triassic is my favorite period too. Imagine what other things there must have been, that never left fossils...
I once read a comment somewhere in which someone lamented all the island endemic species that must have evolved through the ages and which we are likely never to find. I thought that was a fascinating idea.
Great description there. I'd read about giant termite mounds and redwood-size forests covering the Triassic world, a "lost city" of these things in the depths of such a forest would be... priceless. They would be the "old ones" to the dinosauroids.
I had deleted it (it looked like it was drawn on a napkin, the pen being held in my teeth) so I redrew it and uploaded it: [link]
Honestly, I'm rather afraid to show this, since so many people are SO Serious Business about spec evo, and pterosaurs are not my area of expertise. I'm sure I'll get ripped to shreds for having done something wrong/stupid.
Oh man, I'm so digging the attenuated body and the fragile little picky pinky appendage(s)! I definitely read this as a being that is dependent on culture, on its social group, for its welfare...It looks a little too frail, a little too vulnerable to survive independently in some specialized niche. Just like Homo sapiens!
Brilliant as always, although it doesn't seem to have binocular vision; that might make it difficult for finely coordinated object manipulation. Also looks a bit front-heavy for a biped. Still, awesome.