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About Traditional Art / Professional Member NimaMale/United States Group :iconprehistory-alive: Prehistory-Alive
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A few of my skeletals will be getting a substantial overhaul as I have come across piles of new data and material that demands a revision. Brachiosaurus… is already largely overhauled. Little did I know that the Smithsonian actually has multiple fragmentary specimens of Brachiosaurus that have never been put on display! Giraffatitan and Lusotitan are also on the list. You find new stuff in museum collections that fills in some gaps and basically your old stuff becomes outdated.

As Scott Hartman and a few others know personally, this is the real fun part of skeletals :XD:


Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
Current Residence: A dinosaur museum/bone bed near you
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Personal Quote: "It must be new or bust!"

All images are my own copyrights unless explicitly noted otherwise. If you are interested in commissioning work or using any of my images in a paper, book, presentation or website, drop me a line at



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DOTB18 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014
What are the chances that flat-headed pachycephalosaurs like Homalocephale and Dracorex are cases of sexual dimorphism instead of ontogenetic growth stages?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
You mean that the flat-heads are possibly females of dome-heads like Tylocephale and Prenocephale?

This is an interesting idea, but doubtful. While there was likely a bit of dimorphism in many dinosaurs, I doubt it reached such extremes. In order for the sexual dimorphism hypothesis to really stand up, you need a few things to be in place.

1) location, time horizon, and stratigraphic level must match perfectly between "males" and "females".
2) there still need to be enough characters shared (especially in internal skull anatomy and spinal column) to synonymize them as the same species without resorting to extreme arm-waving Hornerian lumpery.
3) ideally a herd containing both males and females needs to be found. Some juveniles showing the roots of the dimorphic split won't hurt either. This last one is very hard to fulfill. But even the first requirement isn't so easy.

I suspect we're just dealing with different species here. And although they are all Late Cretaceous, I haven't seen any evidence that two or more flat-head and dome-head pachycephalosaurs share the exact same stratigraphy. Maybe there is proof but I haven't seen it.
PaleoJoe Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Why do you restore your sauropods' hind legs as digitigrade and not plantigrade?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
It's complicated, but ultimately in a nutshell I don't agree with plantigrade. The digitigrade/plantigrade debate isn't a new thing. It's been going on back and forth ever since the 1960s. I find the anatomical evidence for digitigrade more convincing. To get a plantigrade stance to function properly you would have to either reverse the rotation of the astragalus (as in prosauropods) or splay the hindlimbs out. Neither one seems very plausible in my view.
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 28, 2014
Then, what do you have to say about papers like this?

or this and this

Neither digitigrade nor plantigrade but semi(or sub)-plantigrade?
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
What I have to say is you're asking the wrong questions. :XD: Don't take it personally, these are clearly not the same animals I'm illustrating, not even close. You're showing very primitive sauropodomorphs which have a completely different foot structure, from very early Jurassic epochs which I haven't even touched. As I mentioned before, you can get a semi-plantigrade looking foot if you have the astragalus in a prosauropod-like position. However, my sauropods are all neosauropods (mostly brachiosaurs and titanosaurs) which have a very different foot structure. Every articulated neosauropod food thus far found shows the astragalus has rotated to the reverse of the prosauropod position, resulting in a digitigrade foot. This transition likely happened in the early Jurassic.

So your links actually prove my point, not refute it.

The first paper is about very basal sauropods (if even that) from the earliest Jurassic. Yes, they may well be semi-plantigrade. But those are super-primitive Saturnalia-like things with long, free toes, a far cry from what you see in eusauropoda, let alone neosauropoda, let alone brachiosauridae and titanosauriformes (which are my main focus).

The second link goes to a google book where the page is omitted, so no good.

The third link points to a book page that shows basal "sauropodomorph" tracks that don't even look like true sauropods. Probably from Riojasauridae or another "prosauropod" lineage. So just like the first paper, it's irrelevant to the animals I'm illustrating (which were far more advanced and usually much bigger, with a lot more weight to support).

Cite a paper that's relevant to brachiosaurs (or any neosauropods for that matter) and then things may get interesting.
(1 Reply)
PaleoJoe Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
That makes senses,thank you very much.😀
PaleoJoe Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Meant sense,sorry.
(2 Replies)
vasix Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, I was wondering, is the Hekou Group (home of Daxiatitan) in any way chronologically coeval with the Yixian Formation (or at least the lower levels of the Yixian Formation)? I wonder whether one day I could imagine an encounter between Yutyrannus and Daxiatitan, not a fight, dear me no, but a chance sighting across a lake or whatever. I mean, I read that the Huayijing Formation is roughly coeval with the later Yixian, but not the early to middle parts. Just wondering, since Yutyrannus is supposed to be dated at "124.6 million years" and it seems to be roughly coeval with the Jianghangou Beds of the Yixian.
If not, would you know anything much on Dongbeititan? Dimensions or anything? 
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Dongbeititan is a small titanosaur, similar in size to Opisthocoelicaudia and Diamantinasaurus. All three seem to be closely related based on their similarly odd femur shapes, and form a subfamily of Saltasauridae. Borealosaurus and Qingxuisaurus seem to also belong in this group.

I'm not sure if the Hekou group coincides with the Yixian formation. A lot of the dates of these Chinese formations of the Cretaceus are not all that accurate because this is a chapter of China's eco-history that's just beginning to be understood. I would suggest doing more research. Yutyrannus almost certainly saw some type of euhelopidid sauropods, by maybe no Daxiatitan. There are more and more of them being found all the time. Gannansaurus, Yunmenglong, Pukyongosaurus, the list keeps growing.
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