pinacosaurus

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My first four illustrations for the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs: Oviraptor, Pinacosaurus, Protoceratops and Velociraptor. We are seeking to raise money to fund an expedition across Mongolia that will recover poached fossils, educate children about paleontology, and hopefully make a significant dent in the damage done to some of these rural communities by greedy fossil poachers. Perks for donating include awesome dinosaur swag featuring the above illustrations and many other things, including a once-in-a-decade opportunity for a fully-detailed painting by me of any dinosaur for a $1200 donation.

Check out the campaign page here!

The Plank lizard, Pinacosaurus (1933)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Ornithischia
Family : Ankylosauridae
Subfamily : Ankylosaurinae
Genus : Pinacosaurus
Species : P. grangeri, P. mephistocephalus

  • Late Cretaceous (80 - 75 Ma)
  • 5 m long and 1 000 kg (size)
  • Djadokhta formation, Mongolia (map)

Considering how many fossils have been discovered of this medium-sized, late Cretaceous ankylosaur, Pinacosaurus doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves–at least not compared to its more famous North American cousins, Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus. This central Asian armored dinosaur pretty much adhered to the basic ankylosaur body plan–blunt head, low-slung trunk, and clubbed tail–except for one odd anatomical detail, the as-yet-unexplained holes in its skull behind its nostrils.

The “type fossil” of Pinacosaurus was discovered in the 1920’s, on one of the numerous expeditions to inner Mongolia sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History. Because so many remains have been found in such close proximity–including the bones of juveniles that were apparently huddling together at the time of their death–paleontologists speculate that Pinacosaurus may have roamed the central Asian plains in herds. This would have afforded some protection from predators, as would the fact that the only way a tyrannosaur or raptor could have killed this dinosaur was by flipping it over onto its armored back and digging into its soft belly.

Wulatelong gobiensis

Source: http://www.wired.com/2013/06/dino-bird-field-guide/ (Matt Martyniuk)

Name: Wulatelong gobiensis 

Name Meaning: Wulate dragon

First Described: 2013

Described By: Xu et al. 

ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Oviraptorosauria, Caenagnathoidea, Oviraptoridae

Wulatelong was another oviraptorid from Mongolia, specifically the Wulansuhai Formation, Bayan Mandahu, Linhe District of Inner Mongolia. It lived in the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous, about 80 to 72 million years ago. It is known from scattered remains that suffered severe erosion from the environment so we do not know a lot about this animal. It lived alongside many other dinosaurs such as Magnirostris, Protoceratops, Pinacosaurus, Philovenator, Linhevenator, and Velociraptor

Sources: 

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/w/wulatelong.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wulatelong

Shout out goes to flight-freedom!

A couple of Pinacosaurus grangeri cross a river in a gorge in Late Cretaceous Mongolia, aout 75 million years ago.

The style of this painting is hugely influenced by the work of Ely Kish, who died recently. She was one of the best painters to work on dinosaurs, and her 70s and 80s work was instrumental in teaching myself to paint.

Ely Kish wasn’t a specialised palaeoartist, and she got rather ahem strange direction from palaeontologist Dale Russell, which resulted in weird emaciated dinosaurs. On top of this, her later dinosaur work took on a cartoonish aspect which I don’t like, but I don’t think any of this should detract from the sheer painterly brilliance of her classic work.

There aren’t reproductions on the web that do here work justice, but Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs has a nice writeup with scans of her work in An Odyssey in Time.