marginocephalian

Dinosaur Group D&D Alignments
  • Lawful Good: Marginocephalians (Pachycephalosaurs & Ceratopsians)
  • Neutral Good: Ornithopods
  • Chaotic Good: Non-Avialan Maniraptorans (Therizinosaurs, Alvarezsaurs, Oviraptorosaurs, Dromaeosaurs, Troodontids)
  • Lawful Neutral: Non-Averaptoran Averostrans (Ceratosaurs & Megalosaurs)
  • True Neutral: Non-Maniraptoran Averaptorans (Carnosaurs, Megaraptors, Tyrannosauroids, Compsognathids, Ornithomimosaurs)
  • Chaotic Neutral: Birds
  • Lawful Evil: Sauropods
  • Neutral Evil: Thyreophorans (Stegosaurs & Ankylosaurs)
  • Chaotic Evil: Basal Forms (Heterodontosaurs, Prosauropods, Herrerasaurs, Coelophysoids)

A lone Pachyrhinosaurus, wandering away from the migrating herd, stops grazing to witness the first rays of sunlight after months of darkness, announcing the arrival of spring. The day will last only for a moment, but it means change for all alaskan creatures.

The mammals know it’s time to leave their burrows. The hadrosaurs are coming back with their honking calls. While the little trodoontids and dromeosaurids are starting to build their nests, and the arctic tyrannosaurs are shedding their white coats to match the melting snow, the ankylosaurs are waking up from their hybernation.

For the Pachyrhinosaurs, it’s time for some head butting.

eomao  asked:

Hello dracontes! I've come to you before with questions about dinosaur biology, and I'm hoping you'd be willing to point me in the right direction again. In my webcomic I'm coming to a point where pachycephalosaurus play a significant part, and I'm not sure how accurate the "traditional" depiction is. I've heard ceratopsians may have had quills, is it possible pachys would have had a similar feature? Are there any other outstanding theories making the rounds? Thank you for your consideration!

First my profound apologies for not answering any sooner, if it is indeed the case that your question was asked a while ago (I see no date on the messages).  All I can say is that on my connection, Tumblr is irritatingly slow on the reblogging, and I’ve recently been fairly preoccupied otherwise.

On to your questions…

Considering both Tianyulong and Kulindadromeus along with Psittacosaurus you’re pretty much free to devise whatever intermediate filamentous integument distribution pattern you like. The implied method, should you be unaware, is phylogenetic bracketing. True enough, it is rather unlikely that the dome and associated spines had any covering other than keratinous plates.

I do hope this isn’t too concise to be intelligible. Do follow up if you have more questions. I’ll be sure to catch up with your comic in the meanwhile. Keep up the great work :-)

headless-horsepossum  asked:

Kind of re: your paleoartist mistakes post (which was probably I while ago, I just found your blog yesterday and it's Fantastic): I'm a little foggy on what a fully-feathered dinosaur face would look like. Birds have beaks, so their feathers don't go all the way to their mouths. Did dinosaurs have LIPS?? Were they're faces just Beakier than I had imagined? How far down did the feathers go?

Some dinosaurs did have beaks.  Oviraptorosaurs and ornithominosaurs were beaked theropods with feather-covered bodies, so their snouts were probably bare.  However, they probably looked more like this:

Than like this:

That’s one of my problems with how people like to reconstruct dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are cemented in the popular consciousness as “scaly”, so when it came to light that some of them were feathered, paleoartists tended to just slap feathers on top of an already scaly animal, rather than reconstructing an animal that looked natural.  Now we’ve got all these reconstructions of dinosaurs with mix-and-match integuments, with feathers on some parts and reptilian scales on others, as if paleoartists are holding out hope that the feathers could be ripped off and reveal a reptile underneath.

That’s not to say that dinosaurs weren’t reptilian at all.  One of the features that they might have shared with some modern reptiles is lips.  While the lips of modern reptiles aren’t very prominent, they’re still there; notice how this tuatara’s teeth are fully concealed when its mouth is shut:

Now take a look at this lipped reconstruction of Tyrannosaurus done by John Conway:

Doesn’t look so unnatural, does it?  You hardly ever see a reconstruction like this, though; most large theropods are drawn with their teeth constantly hanging out, as if to emphasize the animal’s monstrosity.

My personal theory is that saurischian dinosaurs (theropods and sauropods) had lips, and ornithischian dinosaurs (marginocephalians, thyreophorans, and ornithopods) did not.  While there’s no fossil evidence of this, consider that sauropods otherwise lacked an efficient method of gripping their food; flexible lips would have assisted them in sucking up plant matter.  Lips would also protect the teeth of large theropods when the mouth was shut.  Ornithischians, meanwhile, tended to have beaks, which would preclude the need for fleshy lips.

Does that sound weird?  Yeah, maybe – but not as weird as scaly-headed half-and-half theropods, at least not from my perspective.

Another note about the reconstruction above: The snout is scaly, but it blends into the feathers of the face.  It’s not what you see on a lot of worse reconstructions - that greyish-beige bird-foot texture, standing out like a sore thumb from the feathers of the head.

Essentially, my argument is this: Don’t reconstruct dinosaurs as looking like sock puppets.  While dinosaur faces may not have been feathered all the way down, and they may not have had any fleshy mouth coverings, their appearance was almost certainly more organic than the monstrosity above.  Compare that to John Conway’s T. rex, and decide for yourself which one looks more like a natural animal - and which one you think was more likely to have really existed.