lambeosaurus

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A mounted Lambeosaurus at the Royal Ontario Museum.  Lambeosaurus is a type of hadrosaurid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period (~75 million years ago) in North America.  This bipedal/quadrupedal, plant-eating dinosaur is known for its distinctive hollow cranial crest, which in the best-known species resembled a hatchet.  The most widely excepted theory about it’s hollow crest is that is aided in social noise making, amplifying sounds.

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Before WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (1999, Dir. Tim Haines & Jasper James) there was…

DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS (1971, Dir. Wah Chang)

DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS is a 10-minute educational short film conceived and directed by special-effects artist Wah Chang (1917-2003). Chang’s first special-effects job was the ill-fated King Kong parody THE LOST ISLAND (1934, Dir. LeRoy Prinz) that was never finished - and is now tragically lost - due to the film going over budget.

In the late 1950s, Chang formed his own special-effects company, Project Unlimited Inc., which he co-founded with Gene Warren and Tim Baar. Together these men went on to do the bulk of the special-effects work on both the original THE OUTER LIMITS (1963-1965) and STAR TREK (1966-1969) television series. Chang also worked for acclaimed science-fiction director George Pal on such films as THE TIME MACHINE (1960) and 7 FACES OF DR. LAO (1964) - the later of which I’ll have to post about at some point here as it features one of the finest Loch Ness Monsters ever committed to film.

Pal recommended Project Unlimited to the late great B-movie producer Jack H. Harris (1918-2017) who inquired about stop-motion dinosaur effects on a film, DINOSAURUS! (1960), that Harris was making for Universal-International with his directing partner Irvin Yeaworth. This experience in turn inspired Chang to make DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS nearly a decade later.

While technically a documentary what makes DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS notable as a precursor to WALKING WITH DINOSAURS is its decidedly cinematic quality. As Mark F. Berry notes in The Dinosaur Filmography (McFarland Press, 2002)…

“The Pteranodons, for instance, do not merely glide through blank sky, but are instead shown in the background of a dramatic up-angle shot of Lambeosaurus. When T. rex and the Styracosaurus are distracted by the volcanic eruption, Chang doesn’t just cut back and forth but offers some nifty composites of the stop-motion dinosaurs staring at the real volcano. Even the simplest shots demonstrate Chang’s artist eye.” (p. 84)  

For DINOSAURS: THE TERRIBLE LIZARDS, Chang manufactured all the stop-motion puppets himself while the animation was executed by Doug Beswick. While not as dynamic or as polished as the animation of Ray Harryhausen or Jim Danforth, the strength of Chang’s work was his ability to do an awful lot with very little. A key example of this was Chang’s budget saving technique for manufacturing multiple ceratopsians for this short. In this case Chang produced a single body and then several interchangeable upper-jaws which could be swapped in and out allowing for Chang to produce a film which featured not only the classic Triceratops but also Chasmosaurus, Styracosaurus, and Monoclonius.

Chang’s ability to produce striking work with a meager budget proved to be an additional​ boon a few years later when he recycled many of the dinosaurs made here for Sid and Marty Krofft’s LAND OF THE LOST (1974–1976).

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Marching Dinosaurs - Animated Size Comparison

  1. Shuvuuia
  2. Sinosauropteryx
  3. Compsognathus
  4. Microraptor
  5. Caudipteryx
  6. Microceratus
  7. Hypsilophodon
  8. Ornitholestes
  9. Masiakasaurus
  10. Psittacosaurus
  11. Velociraptor
  12. Laeallynasaura
  13. Stegoceras
  14. Troodon
  15. Oviraptor
  16. Protoceratops
  17. Dromaeosaurus
  18. Stygimoloch
  19. Coelophysis
  20. Dracorex
  21. Dryosaurus
  22. Deinonychus
  23. Scelidosaurus
  24. Herrerasaurus
  25. Ornithomimus
  26. Kentrosaurus
  27. Gigantspinosaurus
  28. Pachycephalosaurus
  29. Dilophosaurus
  30. Gastonia
  31. Concavenator
  32. Utahraptor
  33. Euoplocephalus
  34. Sauropelta
  35. Miragaia
  36. Chasmosaurus
  37. Magyarosaurus
  38. Einiosaurus
  39. Camptosaurus
  40. Diabloceratops
  41. Styracosaurus
  42. Cryolophosaurus
  43. Tuojiangosaurus
  44. Ceratosaurus
  45. Edmontonia
  46. Plateosaurus
  47. Ankylosaurus
  48. Baryonyx
  49. Wuerhosaurus
  50. Gallimimus
  51. Neovenator
  52. Pachyrhinosaurus
  53. Carnotaurus
  54. Ichthyovenator
  55. Maiasaura
  56. Iguanodon
  57. Dacentrurus
  58. Gigantoraptor
  59. Gorgosaurus
  60. Melanorosaurus
  61. Majungasaurus
  62. Ouranosaurus
  63. Stegosaurus
  64. Olorotitan
  65. Triceratops
  66. Deinocheirus
  67. Corythosaurus
  68. Amargasaurus
  69. Allosaurus
  70. Parasaurolophus
  71. Therizinosaurus
  72. Albertosaurus
  73. Suchomimus
  74. Edmontosaurus
  75. Saurophaganax
  76. Acrocanthosaurus
  77. Lambeosaurus
  78. Tyrannosaurus
  79. Carcharodontosaurus
  80. Giganotosaurus
  81. Shantungosaurus
  82. Spinosaurus
  83. Cetiosaurus
  84. Diplodocus
  85. Camarasaurus
  86. Apatosaurus
  87. Giraffatitan
  88. Alamosaurus
  89. Dreadnoughtus
  90. Brachiosaurus
  91. Sauroposeidon
  92. Mamenchisaurus
  93. Puertasaurus
  94. Argentinosaurus

Corruption by Kevin McLeoud


Feathers could definitely use some puffing up and work, but overall it’s entertaining and informative

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Centrosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus & Stegosaurus - An other experiment using photographic landscape backgrounds, possibly similar to the habitats these dinosaurs lived in. (These photographic backgrounds have been sourced from Google)