Dinosaurs and Barbarians

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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Albertosaurus

Albertosaurus

Albertosaurus, named after the province of Alberta, Canada, is one of the most well-known theropod dinosaurs. It is a distant relative of T. rex which lived in western North America approximately 75 million years ago (MYA). It was also one of the most wide-ranging, with fossils found from Alaska to New Mexico.

There’s another genus out there called Gorgosaurus. It used to be a species of Albertosaurus, but it was given its own genus distinction. Personally, I don’t think that the morphologic differences are that much to warrant a separate genus. Paleontologists are separated into “lumpers” (scientists who want to combine several different geni into just one genus) and “splitters” (scientists who want to take an established genus composed of multiple species and separate them into different genera). I’m kind of in the middle, but I’m leaning towards being a lumper.

Anyway, enjoy the drawing. Keep your pencils sharp.

Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx

In a previous post, I talked a little bit about the “raptor” dinosaurs and how they had feathers. Here is a drawing of Archaeopteryx, long reputed to be the earliest-known bird. It lived during the late Jurassic Period in what is now central Europe. I read somewhere that Archaeopteryx likely had black feathers, so it is portrayed has having dark feathers with white tips and a white belly. The only colored part is its eyelids, which are red – I put that in there just to give it some visual contrast.

I read today that the original color analysis of Archaeopteryx’s feathers was incorrect. It turns out that the wings were actually light colored with dark tips, not the other way around. Oh well. If you want to read the online National Geographic article, here it is:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130614-dinosaur-xray-bird-color-feather-archaeopteryx/

Tyrannosaurus rex body

Tyrannosaurus rex body

It’s no secret that Tyrannosaurus rex had a large head – it measured five feet long! However, I’ve noticed that many paleo-artists have a tendency to make T. rex’s head too big in proportion to the rest of its body. Tyrannosaurus’ head was five feet long, but it’s body measured forty feet long. That means that its head was one-eighth the length of its body. That is very impressive. However, if we are to believe the physical proportions provided by some paleo-artists, it would appear that T. rex had a head that was much bigger, say around┬áseven or eight feet long! That’s just ridiculous. The only Mesozoic carnivorous animals that have heads anywhere near those proportions are the gigantic “sea dragons” of the Mesozoic oceans – creatures like pliosaurs and mosasaurs. Here’s an example of an early drawing that I did of Tyrannosaurus rex in running pose. You’ll notice that it’s not as detailed as some of my later drawings, but that’s evolution for you – from simple to complex. Hope you enjoy.