Brachiosaurus Reconstruction

Colored Pencil, Digital. 11”x17”

I had a lot of fun with this one. I particularly love the unusual patterning I gave the exterior; for those wondering, it’s based off of an African Wild Dog. 

As with everything, prints are available! Give me a shout if you’re interested. :)

ARCTIC TYRANT

My take on the new tyrannosaurid named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, from north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Smaller than a Tyrannosaurus rex, it may have been covered in feathers. This dinosaur lived during the Late Cretaceous, about 70 to 68 million years ago.

Further information:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0091287


Please do not reproduce or use without permission.


Updates:
- I’m aware this was not the dinosaur’s usual habitat - at least not the sort of paleoenvironment in which the fossils were formed - but it is possible that an individual Nanuqsaurus may have wandered into colder, snowier uplands from time to time. Even in the relatively temperate Cretaceous Alaskan winter, there was most likely at least some snowfall.

- I posted a higher-resolution version of the image at my DeviantArt page, here (clicking the image enlarges it):
http://microcosmicecology.deviantart.com/art/Arctic-Tyrant-Nanuqsaurus-hoglundi-456709272

- Prints of this image are now available at my Zazzle page, here:
http://www.zazzle.com/aexuron*

Thanks for viewing!

Feathered Dinosaurs were Diverse, Like Darwin’s Finches

by Megan Gannon

Flightless feathered dinosaurs with parrotlike beaks and long, skinny claws that scampered around North America may have been the Darwin’s finches of the Late Cretaceous era.

Fossils of at least five species of vegetarian birdlike dinosaurs known as caenagnathids have been found from West Texas to Canada with wide variation in their beak shapes and body size, giving scientists clues about how the small creatures could coexist by carving out different dietary niches.

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was famously inspired by the diversity of beak shapes among finches on the Galapagos Islands, which he took as a sign that the birds had somehow adapted to the specific environments where they lived. More recent research has shown that Darwin’s finches can evolve quite quickly. For instance, one species shrunk its beak size to better compete with another bird for small seeds in a mere two decades.

Millions of years ago, different species of caenagnathids may have similarly adjusted their beak size across western North America…

(read more: LiveScience)        

(illustration by  Nicholas R. Longrich/Yale - This new species, Leptorhynchos (“little jaw”) gaddisi, belongs to a broader group of bird-like dinosaurs characterized by toothless beaks and long, slender claws.)

Abstract

Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian dinosaurs, differences that could have contributed to, or limited, how frequently gigantism evolved. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that sub-articular bone, which supports the articular cartilage, changes shape in different ways between terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs with increasing size. Our sample consisted of giant mammal and reptile taxa (i.e., elephants, rhinos, sauropods) plus erect and non-erect outgroups with thin and thick articular cartilage. Our results show that eutherian mammal sub-articular shape becomes narrow with well-defined surface features as size increases. In contrast, this region in saurischian dinosaurs expands and remains gently convex with increasing size. Similar trends were observed in non-erect outgroup taxa (monotremes, alligators), showing that the trends we report are posture-independent. These differences support our hypothesis that sub-articular shape scales differently between eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs. Our results show that articular cartilage thickness and sub-articular shape are correlated. In mammals, joints become ever more congruent and thinner with increasing size, whereas archosaur joints remained both congruent and thick, especially in sauropods. We suggest that gigantism occurs less frequently in mammals, in part, because joints composed of thin articular cartilage can only become so congruent before stress cannot be effectively alleviated. In contrast, frequent gigantism in saurischian dinosaurs may be explained, in part, by joints with thick articular cartilage that can deform across large areas with increasing load.

Excavating the River of Giants

In the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, there is a great fossil mismatch. You can find the deceptive pairing in the Apatosaurus exhibit. Set in the floor behind the enormous dinosaur is a set of trackways—the Apatosaurus is posed as if the skeletal sauropod has just left the tracks behind. But there is no way that Apatosaurus left those tracks. The footprints and the long-necked dinosaur on display were separated by tens of millions of years.

Read More

darkowlblues7 said:

So... what is it that makes birds fly?

I’m so glad you asked, dear, dear, darkowlblues7. I will be delighted to explain it to you in excruciating detail.

Birds, as you might be aware, are descended from dinosaurs. By this, I am of course referring to the saurischians that were illegally genetically manipulated by their ornithischian overlords. Of course, many prehistory textbooks dispute the reasons behind the experiments, but I’m sure we can all agree the most logical assumption to be made is that the war with the rebel pterosaurs corps was taking a serious toll on the population, and the ornithischians were looking for a secret weapon. They could hardly have known that trying to create a self-combusting Argentinosaurus would result in the destruction of the world as they knew it, ironically leaving only their most controversial specimens to survive!

In short, darkowlblues7, it is science that makes birds fly. Dinosaur science.

Drawing a pic w/ Diego lying on his back and trying to figure out why it looks weird, only to remember fifteen minutes later that saurischian dinosaurs have a completely different hip structure then literally any other bipedal animal

[picks up her future bio degree]

[places it gently in the trash where it belongs]

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