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Savani is done! Actually have been for a couple of months, but because she was at our school’s art gallery (she was school project) I couldn’t take pictures earlier. She is chubby little almost-lifesized velociraptor. Because she is my first plushie which patterns I have made all by myself, there is lots of things to fix for the next one!

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I needle-felted a Spinosaurus! He’s a gift for one of my lecturers. He took around a week to make over the course of two or three months. I used a wire armature, so you can move him pretty much any way you want! I’m definitely thinking of taking commissions/setting up a shop once the academic year’s over.

When the weather improves, I’ll take him outside for a more naturalistic photo shoot.

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A really superb animation piece made by David Pavitt, the same man who made that incredibly well-done and accurate marching dinosaurs video from a while back. This is probably one of the most realistic (behaviorally-speaking) depictions of non-avian dinosaurs I’ve ever seen. It has some really interesting and well-grounded speculation in it, plus the atmosphere is pretty immersive. I highly recommend you all check out this video as well as David’s other work. If you’re into paleontology and want to see a more accurate portrayal of dinosaurs, you really need to see his work, and believe me, you won’t be disappointed.    

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utahraptor recently got an update on it’s skeletal, and boy is it WEIRD. it’s head is huge and the lower jaw is bent, it has a stocky torso with a high spine, and a proportionally small and more flexible tail, not the built-for-running model we used to have. it also resembles the jurassic park raptor’s proportion, which is odd indeed!

top image is using the old skeletal, the bottom is with the new skeletal.

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So, I decided to put together two speculative ceratopsian hypotheses that have been floating around the palaeontology side of the internet for a while. These two hypotheticals are aquatic ceratopsians and omnivorous ceratopsians.

There have been suggestions that the high, arched vertebral spines on the tail vertebrae of early ceratopsians could have formed something of a ‘paddle tail’, allowing the animal to propel itself through water. This is unlikely, as these early species also had plenty of anatomical features that would be much more useful on land, but it’s an interesting idea to contemplate. I almost doesn’t seems too far-fetched that a few of these early species may have taken to the water, at least from time to time.

The other theory that has sparked some heated discussions and artworks far better than anything I could hope to draw is the idea that the sharp beaks and cutting molars of ceratopsians may have allowed them to consume meat when the opportunity arose. Many otherwise-herbivorous animals today will occasionally eat small animals, or feed on a carcass that they stumble upon.

While most artwork of omnivory in ceratopsians depicts them scavenging, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to portray an early ceratopsian taking a more active method to get itself a meal. Combining occasional omnivory with a semi-aquatic lifestyle creates a picture of a herbivore which, in times of environmental stress, could have taken to the water and become an ambush predator. It’s a depiction that is rather bizarre when compared to the conventional depictions of ceratopsians as strict herbivores.

I should make a note here that this is a completely hypothetical situation. There is no evidence to suggest that ceratopsians employed this type of behaviour, in fact I doubt that it was the case. However, ceratopsians have a history spanning at least 80 million years, and I find it not too much of a stretch to think that at some point in all those 80 million years, some ceratopsians would have adapted to some strange and unusual methods of getting food, whether by hiding in a river or doing something completely different. Either way, it was a fun thought experiment, and I’m quite pleased with the idea.

Also I got to make a meme out of it, so there’s that.

Made this to go on my jacket- it’s a bit niche for the shop but if anyone wants one I’m happy to make more on request, although there’s a couple of things I’d do differently :P
(for clarification, I’m about to finish my masters degree in palaeontology hence all the fossil stuff)

today a remarkable boy has come to our attention!!! meet halszkaraptor escilliei! it’s a dromaeosaurid found in mongolia that seems to have evolved to resemble a duck/cormorant with a long tail. it’s snout is flattened like that of a duck and it’s forelimbs seem well adapted as use as flippers (but whether that means penguin like flappers or stiff wing feathers like the galapagos cormorant is anyone’s guess!)