Quetzalcoatl is the main of the cultures from the center of Mexico, like mexicas, toltecas, teotihuacans and the maya equivalent Kukulkan, known by the popular culture as the feathered flying snake or just feathered snake. https://www.ancient.eu/trans/es/1-12086/quetzalcoatl/ (
My question is how you could have an anatomically accurate Quetzalcoatl (and if possible, one that has the "real" characteristics) but first I need to explain some things:
Codex and sculptures prior to the Spanish colonization shows something more like a mammal face with a mouth filled with teeth, meanwhile snakes, specifically rattlesnakes just have the fangs, have a squared head and face instead of the triangle head of the rattle snakes, frontal eyes position and a differentiation between the nose and the superior mandible. But still having the capacity of open the mouth like a snake for gobble up "preys". Some persons thought that looks more like a feline, like the jaguar. But even of that way could look more like a python than a rattle snake
Here a link with some precolonial art crafts showing that http://mediateca.inah.gob.mx/islandora_74/islandora/object/objetoprehispanico%3A23896 https://www.mediateca.inah.gob.mx/repositorio/islandora/object/objetoprehispanico:16881
- Were the codex after the conquest in which the shape of the head changed radically and I know that the previous representation was not an error because coatl's (snake), representations from the same age showed a common snake, with only two fangs and a flat head. Even in some current art Quetzalcoatl is showed more like an oriental dragon
- Some persons thought that this myth was inspired by the flight of a quetzal during the sunset in which the tail feathers looks like a long snake tail from a flying creature, in the other side, criptozoology thought that legends like this could be inspired in "modern dinosaurs" (Im not talk about it because its a pseudoscience), natives seeing feathered reptiles or scaled birds, whatever, dinosaurs had feathers, wings and long rigid tails, even its not necesary a big size for create a myth, so we still having the problem of the mammal head and the leg-less appearence.
- If well were more recent representations which added the wings, following the idea of the quetzal inspirations is necesary take part from the mayan equivalent, Kukulkan, necesary for confirm that the feathered snake could fly, because the Chichen Itza pyramid is used for religious rituals during the equinox, in which the snake descends from the sky for fertilize the earth.
So the passed characterisitcs are necesary for be considered Quetzalcoatl. But we can consider two things more, in myths real stories are exagerated, so of you can imagine a Quetzalcoatl that can fly but its too little is valid, could size from 30 centimeters to a titanic size (titanoboa for example).
But also I currently made my try with this:
could evolve from one the Northamerican subfamilies of the family anguidae that also still having limbs, like xenosauridae, gerrhontidae or diploglossiade, so this new lizard specie started to losing its posterior limbs in a "semi-convergent evolution", with the other members like the celestus genre or the own asian crystal lizards, but keeping the anterior limbs for climb over the trees for scape for the rattlesnakes that rarely tries to search their preys over the trees.
So, those are the requirements, and these are the optional features:
- Have a way in which people could thought that are a man coming out of the mouth or be a hard tameable creature.
- Be associated with high buildings or structures.
- Be known as God of the wind, probably by a strong wings move.
- Be related with a good agriculture.
- Have a big size.
Please note that my first language is Spanish, so all the links are in Spanish.
(Edit). Thanks to the first answer to this question, I need to say that would be convenient if a creture like this could use its long tail for "fly" (or just something lile fly), if we follow the common path og pterosaurus or birds, its inevitable think that lose or reduce the tail is a constant on flying creatures, and if you want to answer, so, what would evit the lost of the tail? And this is not principally an analysis of my own provided drawing, you can do that, but primary it is just an example of what I'm searching with this question
Maybe this question could be part of Anatomically correct series.