My raptor sets are well under way!! Isn’t this an interesting shot? First column is complete, the rest need colored pencil! I plan on selling individuals ($17+shipping) and sets of all four raptors ($60+shipping). Comment to snag yourself a full set! Also, I’ll be getting my reserved cards done as well, for those of you waiting to see finished art!

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Image of the Jurassic World Stegosaurus (2015)

Here is a Stegosaurus painting from the 1930′s (Charles R. Knight)

And here is The Lost World Stegosaurus (1997)

Here’s a modern scientific reconstruction of Stegosaurus (John Conway 2013)

How is it that TLW has a more modern Stegosaurus than JW?  Thanks for being regressive, Trevorrow.

2-day gouache painting of Yi qi, the bizarre new membrane-winged scansoriopterygid. I wanted to see what the membrane would look like attaching further down on the body than in nearly every depiction I’ve seen so far, which show it attaching on the flank or at the armpit. I can’t get behind a leg-attachment point for this critter; it makes more sense to me that a long-legged animal would want its legs free and flexible. If a sprawling mobile hip-joint can be established for scansors, I’d potentially change my stance on that. Anyway, here’s a semi-new interpretation amidst a flood of recent restorations.

I’m definitely not convinced of powered flight for this critter, so here it is in an extended leap onto a log in pursuit of a Tiaojishan archisargid fly, Calosargus.

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Some of you may recall my oft-repeated adage of bygone years that the best way to assimilate the idea of accurate dinosaurs into public perception is to start from the ground up: with the kiddos. Mainstream movies are still a ways off (thanks JW), but books—particularly brightly-colored, fun, and attractive picture books—have captured the imaginations of our youngest denizens since the advent of the printing press, and continue to do so even in this age of digital opulence. 

David Orr is a talented illustrator, graphic designer and paleo aficionado, as well as the frontman of the lovely blog Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs. He has now teamed up with his equally-talented wife Jennie to create a project intended to do exactly this: repackage the outdated perception of prehistoric animals into something modern, sciencey, and exquisitely fun. “But Emily!” you say. “These animals aren’t accurate—they’re wearing tophats, bowties, and parachutes! What are you smoking?!” 

And that’s precisely the point. Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals can be effectively cartoonized without compromising the form, the bauplan, the je ne sais quoi that 21st century science has brought to bear. Orr’s Velociraptor may be dancing, but you can be sure it’s feathered in all the right ways. His Iguanodon may be inky, but its hands are thumb-spiked and weight-bearing on the three center fingers, with that weirdly free-floating “pinky”—features that many serious renditions of this animal get completely wrong. And his Cotylorhynchus might be wearing a scarf, but hell—how many kids do you think have even heard of Cotylorhynchus?!

And this is the simple brilliance of Orr’s brainchild. It is cartoonizing these animals in the way that we’ve been cartoonizing cats, dogs, and other familiar animals for decades, and without, say, leaving off their fur, breaking their wrists, or otherwise compromising the most salient aspects of their anatomy. This is what we need to do with dinosaurs to get children to understand that these are animals too.

And this is why you should contribute to Mammoth is Mopey, this wonderful children’s book about prehistoric animals in whimsical situations. Because you, like I, care about de-monstering these creatures for generations to come. And the children of today will be the film execs of tomorrow.

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Spinosaurus was weirder than previously thought, according to new research

Stubby hind legs, a low, quadrupedal stance, and webbed feet for an aquatic life are among the features revealed by the discovery of new fossils of the dinosaur previously known from incomplete remains.

There’s been lots of media coverage about this story released today. National Geographic and the New York Times in particular have provided excellent content. Check them out to fill your head with juicy dinosaur knowledge.

There is also this cool video from the University of Chicago detailing the findings:

Meso Cordilleran Highland Stygimoloch climb nearly 90 degree angles to lick salt deposits off of the mountainside. They crave that mineral.