Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Traditional Art / Professional NimaMale/United States Group :iconprehistory-alive: Prehistory-Alive
Bringing prehistory back to life
Recent Activity
Deviant for 6 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 104 Deviations 5,660 Comments 141,000 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Favourites

Activity


The Drinker by Paleo-King
The Drinker
Mechanical pencil on heavy paper 8x11". Birthday gift for my brother.

An adult Drinker nisti halts after almost crashing into a half-grown brachiosaur. Yeah. half-grown. Like the Felch Quarry Skull individual, only a few million years younger.

Drinker is a small basal ornithopod dinosaur at the very end of the Jurassic period, that was likely among the first flower-eaters, given flowers had just evolved. Other than that, it's a pretty boring-looking animal, like all hypsilophodontids, and was probably fair game on just about every predator's menu.

Drinker was discovered in 1990 by Dr. Bob Bakker, and is (officially) named in honor of American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope.
The species epithet, nisti, refers to the National Institute of Standards and Technology who funded digs at Como Bluff in the early 1990's. According to Tracy Ford, the species was named "in horror" of NIST, which had funded the dig. I can only imagine this was because Dr. Bakker was probably having to fight for every cent of the promised grant money from NIST, and the government agency probably kept interfering with the dig. At least they didn't try to pull a Sue on this one.

However, those of us in the Paleoart world have an alternative theory about how this otherwise unremarkable (and boringly SMALL!) dinosaur came to get its name. You see, certain dinosaurs get named after unusual (or more often just boring) parts of their bodies, their likely behaviors, or places where they were found, or even people who found them. But Edward Drinker Cope is a pretty bizarre name even at the best of times, so, no offense meant to the Colonel Sanders of paleontology, some of us have put forward the theory that Drinker was actually named for its addiction to alcohol. Yes, seeds and fruits (which were just beginning to evolve in Drinker's day) did ferment, and this little critter was possibly the world's first alcoholic. Yes folks, Drinker really was a drinker. The other plant-eating dinosaurs tried to help him get sober, took away his eggshell mugs and fern coasters and all his favorite pentoxylon tipple... but Drinker had other ways of feeding his habit! He was known to sneak drinks under the table, use old abandoned Brachiosaurus nests to brew cycad ale, store his booze inside old dead termite mounds, and in a final act of desperation, stash the moonshine near Goniopholis mating grounds in the hope that nobody would try to get past a bunch of angry crocs with raging hormones. Of course this is all just 20-millionth-hand hearsay (with pronated hands!), but if it does turn out to be correct, it would be front page news and make us rich. If it doesn't, we can disown the theory and give Jack Horner all the credit. After all, Drinker, Toroceratops, Scavengersaurus rex, and Homo sapiens are all *obviously* ontogenetic stages of gnathostomic fish, and Drinker was *obviously* the wild teenage binge-boozing stage.

What we do know for a fact: Drinker was a small agile beaked biped within the final stages of Wyoming's Late Jurassic Morrison Formation. Dr. Bakker has reported finding the remains of over thirty individuals in what might have been a burrow, though it could have just been a big hole they fell into, or a site where the whole herd got drowned together in a seasonal flood.
Loading...
Sonorasaurus thompsoni by Paleo-King
Sonorasaurus thompsoni
Etymology: "Thompson's Sonoran Desert lizard" (after the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and for then-student of geology Richard Thompson)

Time horizon: Mid-Cretaceous, Albian-Cenomanian stages (~112-93 mya)

Length: ~17m (~55.7 ft.)

Probable mass: 20 tons, perhaps more based on maturity

Sonorasaurus was a late-stage brachiosaur (in fact probably as late-stage as you can get in this family's evolutionary history, without bringing up that quasi-crypto report of brachiosaur tail material in Mexico from supposedly Maastrichtian-age rock layers). As a result this is a very important animal for understanding the changes undergone by the group during the Cretaceous, a time when they gradually went from being incredibly successful survivors of the LJ-EK mass extinction, to being increasingly rare and out of their element. This is clear at least in North America, where the inland sea and increasingly swampy climate during the mid-Cretaceous gradually pushed all surviving sauropods (brachiosaurs, chubutisaurs and other basal titanosauriforms) towards extinction. Due to the lack of extensive research on cretaceous brachiosaurs elsewhere, it is hard to tell exactly what caused them to die out or how long they actually survived into the Cretaceous before being fully supplanted by titanosaurs (they seem to have dominated England for a long time, and tantalizing clues about their Cretaceous presence in Argentina, Lebanon, and even China have turned up).

Sonorasaurus was described by Ron Ratkevich in 1998, an quickly brought attention to Arizona as a dinosaur state. Yet it failed to become Arizona's state dinosaur. One thing notable about this species is that its basic design, specifically the arms, seems little changed from far older Jurassic brachiosaurs, indicating either that it's from a particularly old bloodline within the group (perhaps akin to B. altithorax) or that brachiosaurs in general changed little over their history. It does, however, appear to be different and more basal in morphology than the Cedarosaurus-Abydosaurus lineage, though there are still a lot of unanswered questions about this animal and any full-body reconstruction so far still requires a lot of speculation. A cast of the arm as well as the the original dig site is on outdoor display near the Sonoran Desert museum where its bones are housed (next to a rather ugly mid-90s style water fountain :P).

Like Cedarosaurus, there were stomach clasts found with this animal, which further indicates that even brachiosaurs were not chewers, though they were better adapted to hacking through tough branches than diplodocoids. The remains indicate very long and gracile hands, but much more compact hindfeet, even by brachiosaur standards. Ratkevich intially mentioned a crushed skull being found with the skeleton, though on closer analysis by Curtice (2000) the object turned out to be a vertebra. Interestingly enough, a music app for iPhone has been named after Sonorasaurus: www.sonorasaurus.com/

REFERENCES:

Curtice, B., 2000, The axial skeleton of Sonorasaurus thompsoni (Ratkevich, 1998): Southwest Paleontological Symposium, Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin, v. 7, p. 83-87.

Ratkevich, R (1998). "New Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaur, Sonorasaurus thompsoni gen et sp. nov, from Arizona." Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 31; 71-82.
Loading...
Check this out if you haven't already. This is just the cutest thing. Dr. Phil Currie kicks off 2016 with a description of a near-complete baby Chasmosaurus!

I remember Chasmosaurus with a lot of nostalgia. It was my favorite horned dinosaur growing up. In fact it was my second favorite dinosaur of any sort for a long time (after Giraffatitan of course, which was then known as "Brachiosaurus brancai"). The different species and horn configurations fascinated me no less than the endless variations in modern antelope horns, from the little nubs on C. belli to the longer studs on C. russelli, to the impressive upturned skewers of C. kaiseni (or Mojoceratops, if the two skulls are truly from the same species). The frill was large but simple, a rectangular shield framed with rows of basic epoccipital studs and a couple of pairs of larger studs at the corners. This genus was the namesake of its own subfamily, the classic "standard model" three-horned dinosaur by which all others were measured, most of which appear like some fancier variation of it. More of the "three-horns" in fact resemble Chasmosaurus than they do Triceratops. But there was never a baby specimen... until now.

Baby-chasmosaurus by Paleo-King


The strangest thing about this adorable dinosaur is how long the hindlimbs are compared to the body, particularly when you scale it up against an adult's proportions. While the arms are missing, there's a possibility that they were not unusually elongated relative to the adult proportions, which begs the question - were baby ceratopsids bipedal? This was after all the basal ceratopsian condition found in Leptoceratops and other protoceratopsids. There's already been some venturing (and illustration) of the theory of habitually bipedal running among baby sauropods, which makes a lot of sense (for the bottom-heavy diplodocids anyway - I don't really see Toni the Brachiosaurus doing too much of this). But there haven't been a lot of juvenile ceratopsid remains complete enough to do a biometric analysis of bipedal running and its feasibility. What do you think?  (BTW the paper is free to download, though being in the control of JVP's new masters Taylor and Francis, it's uncertain how long that will last. Get it while you can!)
... uninformed about basic manners and etiquette on the paleoblogosphere (or anywhere else online), here is a refresher. I am not a big fan of doing this, admittedly it's an unwelcome hassle, but once again, it seems, the faceless bullies are slinking out of the woodwork. Normally I would ignore them, but now there appears to be veritable army of anonymous re-posters picking fights with me on here and my blog as well as taking viral social media comments (which I have no control over) nearly to the level of outright blackmail. So here we are again.


First, read the BGRs. You can do whatever **** you want on your own blog, but if you comment here, for the love of all you hold dear, PLEASE do not do any of the things on that list.

Second, if you want me to respect you and your opinions, however they may diverge from mine, you must show respect. It's a good idea to adhere to the following BEST PRACTICES:

1. Don't make subjective statements about a person who is a total stranger to you (i.e. calling someone "arrogant" or "egotistical" or "evil" without having ever met them or heard them speak publicly on camera). Avoid adversarial or libelous statements which you would not wish to see applied to yourself.

2. Don't presume to know the personal views of one individual toward another individual if he has not expressed those view explicitly (i.e. falsely accusing one paleoartist of "hating" another).

3. Don't invent false accusations such as claiming X work was a "rip-off" of Y artist, when clearly you have no proof, and the proper attributions have long ago been made and credit given. Keep things professional.

4. Don't judge or twist a person's views today based on their views 5 years ago. This clearly proves you either can't read, or deliberately didn't bother to read their more recent statements.

5. Don't claim or imply that someone's opinions are baseless when you have not asked them about the rationale.

6. Don't ridicule that which is reasonable (i.e. the evidence-based view that "raptors" were feathered, but lightly enough to still be agile, aerodynamic predators and keep cool in hot climates, does not deserve ridicule). This also goes for any self-righteous crusaders that use terms like "heterodox" and "radical" to mean "intolerable" or "looney". I care nothing for labels of orthodox and heterodox, I only care for evidence and how rigorously it's interpreted, not merely "critically" but also laterally, without false dichotomies of "black and white" skewing conclusions or resulting in forced cherry-picking. And at the end of the day, do you really want to be that guy who resorts to an appeal to orthodoxy, like the old "cold-blooded or unacceptable" establishment that ridiculed Bakker's work by outright denialism, only to crawl into their shells a few years later when all sorts of fossils proved him right? Science is based on proof and reason, not political populism.

7. If you want to criticize, be willing to be criticized. Be open about your own identity, views, and body of work, and what - if anything - you have contributed. Criticizing a publicly known artist in a malicious and personally insulting way while hiding your own identity online, is a coward's game and not worthy of any respect.

8. Don't distort the views of researchers in your support (i.e. citing Mike Habib in support of fanatical insistence on ankle-attachment of pterosaur wings, when this is not, in fact, his position.) And whatever you do, DO NOT use photoshop to cut and paste letters and words into a person's mouth or make it look like they previously said/wrote something they did not say/write. In the real world that's called FORGERY.

9. And most importantly of all, DO NOT trash someone's reputation on social media. Artists do sell their work and do not appreciate attacks on their reputation which may do irrevocable harm to future commissions or business opportunities. You may think it's cute now, but it will come back to bite you, one way or another.
Cedarosaurus weiskopfae by Paleo-King
Cedarosaurus weiskopfae
Etymology: "Weiskopf's Cedar Mountain lizard" (after the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah and "for the Late Carol Weiskopf for her hard work in the field and lab")

Time horizon: Early Cretaceous, Barremian epoch (~126 mya)

Length: ~16m (~53 ft.)

Probable mass: 17 tons, perhaps more based on maturity


The slender brachiosaur known as Cedarosaurus is a subadult specimen, so how large the adults got is anyone's guess. We do know that it was native to the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, and thus making it a few million years older than the basal somphospondylian Venenosaurus. Its vertebrae and limbs closely resemble those of English brachiosaurs from around the same time, such as Eucamerotus and Pelorosaurus (most of which are also known from mid-sized immature specimens)

Cedarosaurus is known from a type specimen (shown here) and possibly also a referred foot described by d'Emic (2013), although this could belong to any number of cretaceous brachiosaur species. Cedarosaurus overall appears to follow the classic "Abydosaurine" body plan of most Cretaceous brachiosaurs, with a compact torso, slender limbs, "perky" neural spines tilted forward relative to the articulation axis of the centrum, and overall taller neural arches on the dorsals than in most Jurassic brachiosaurs. This tendency towards taller arches, which translates to a more elevated ribcage and a wider back, was also evolved independently in somphospondylians, eventually culminating in the extreme dorsals of the Acrofornica like Phuwiangosaurus, whose vertebrae were nearly 70% neural arch and almost NO neural spine.

Also notable was the discovery of 115 "clasts" or gastroliths in the stomach region, which are worn smooth by internal grinding and acid-etching just like in other sauropods. Unusually, some of these stones actually contained fossils of small plants and invertebrates that were already ancient and long-dead when the Cedarosaurus swallowed them. For a long time gastroliths were only known from diplodocids, and it was unknown whether brachiosaurs swallowed stones to grind food in their stomachs. Their teeth, more massive and numerous than those of diplodocids, seemed to argue against this, but the discovery of these belly-stones with Cedarosaurus shows that the animal still swallowed its food with a minimum of biting or chewing. Even the toothy mouths of brachiosaurs were primarily designed for hacking through branches, not actually chewing the food.

I was unable to locate any good information about the late Carol Weiskopf, the species' namesake, other than that she was probably one of Dr. Bakker's eponymous "museum people" toiling long hours with little recognition in the vaults and specimen labs, who are "always overworked, always underpaid, and they deserve sainthood, each and every one".


REFERENCES:

d’Emic, Michael D. (2013). "Revision of the sauropod dinosaurs of the Lower Cretaceous Trinity Group, southern USA, with the description of a new genus". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 11 (6): 707–726.

Sanders, F.; Manley, K.; Carpenter, K. (2001). "Gastroliths from the Lower Cretaceous sauropod Cedarosaurus weiskopfae". In Tanke, Darren; Carpenter, Ken. Mesozoic Vertebrate Life: New Research Inspired by the Paleontology of Philip J. Currie. Indiana University Press. pp. 166–180.

Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. and Brooks, W. (1999). "New sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah, USA". Oryctos 2: 21-37

Tidwell, V., Carpenter, K. & Meyer, S. 2001. New Titanosauriform (Sauropoda) from the Poison Strip Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Utah. In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. D. H. Tanke & K. Carpenter (eds.). Indiana University Press, Eds. D.H. Tanke & K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. 139-165.
Loading...
Check this out if you haven't already. This is just the cutest thing. Dr. Phil Currie kicks off 2016 with a description of a near-complete baby Chasmosaurus!

I remember Chasmosaurus with a lot of nostalgia. It was my favorite horned dinosaur growing up. In fact it was my second favorite dinosaur of any sort for a long time (after Giraffatitan of course, which was then known as "Brachiosaurus brancai"). The different species and horn configurations fascinated me no less than the endless variations in modern antelope horns, from the little nubs on C. belli to the longer studs on C. russelli, to the impressive upturned skewers of C. kaiseni (or Mojoceratops, if the two skulls are truly from the same species). The frill was large but simple, a rectangular shield framed with rows of basic epoccipital studs and a couple of pairs of larger studs at the corners. This genus was the namesake of its own subfamily, the classic "standard model" three-horned dinosaur by which all others were measured, most of which appear like some fancier variation of it. More of the "three-horns" in fact resemble Chasmosaurus than they do Triceratops. But there was never a baby specimen... until now.

Baby-chasmosaurus by Paleo-King


The strangest thing about this adorable dinosaur is how long the hindlimbs are compared to the body, particularly when you scale it up against an adult's proportions. While the arms are missing, there's a possibility that they were not unusually elongated relative to the adult proportions, which begs the question - were baby ceratopsids bipedal? This was after all the basal ceratopsian condition found in Leptoceratops and other protoceratopsids. There's already been some venturing (and illustration) of the theory of habitually bipedal running among baby sauropods, which makes a lot of sense (for the bottom-heavy diplodocids anyway - I don't really see Toni the Brachiosaurus doing too much of this). But there haven't been a lot of juvenile ceratopsid remains complete enough to do a biometric analysis of bipedal running and its feasibility. What do you think?  (BTW the paper is free to download, though being in the control of JVP's new masters Taylor and Francis, it's uncertain how long that will last. Get it while you can!)

deviantID

Paleo-King
Nima
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
Current Residence: A dinosaur museum/bone bed near you
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Somewhere between Otto Arco and Louis Cyr
Favourite style of art: that's rather self-evident...
Operating System: Anything but Vista!
Skin of choice: mammalian, watertight, preferably soft, hairless and well-insulated
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 Paleo_King@hotmail.com.

Website: www.sassani-dinoart.com/

Blog:
Interests

AdCast - Ads from the Community

×

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner 19 hours ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Rejoice! A new Titanosaur has been described (in open access yay!. No, it's not the AMNH Titanosaur, I got excited for a second there: journals.plos.org/plosone/arti…
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner 7 hours ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice! This looks just like the skull published in NatGeo back in the 1990s, which was never described.

So basically we have a face that was nemegtosaur-like in profile, but wide in top view like a basal titanosaurform and with big teeth. I think they have the classification pretty spot-on. It was something a bit more derived than Malawisaurus. Since the nasal arch is broken it's hard to tell the exact shape of the nose. But this may have been a Lognkosaur similar to Mendozasaurus perhaps? It is most likely either some sort of lognkosaur or an Epachthosaurus-like creature.

I don't agree with their assessment on brachiosaurs however, but then again most brachiosaur material is not even being researched or entered into a data matrix, just sitting in museum collections. And we have to wait for a complete description of the referred Abydosaurus specimens.

BTW it's funny how the "AMNH" titanosaur is being referred to as such. I thought it was the "Chubut Monster" titanosaur. AMNH isn't in Argentina! And I don't think they own the actual bones, just the cast.... Oh well......
Reply
:iconbricksmashtv:
bricksmashtv Featured By Owner 7 hours ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
A Lognkosaur or
Epachthosaurid?! Wow, my initial impressions were way off than. Yeah, I was surprised they found Abydosaurus was a Somphospondyl. It doesn't seem very likely to me. Yeah, I know it's the Chubut Monster, but everybody's calling it the AMNH Titanosaur cause that's where the cast is at. It's probably the first time most people even heard of it, including all the news that came out when it was discovered.
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner 6 hours ago  Professional Traditional Artist
What were your initial impressions of this skull then?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icontigris115:
tigris115 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
What's the current consensus on how a brachiosaur held its neck?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Edited 6 hours ago  Professional Traditional Artist
Vertical. Brachiosaurs are flat-out designed to be vertical.

Just how vertical is open to interpretation, but the general consensus is an upward-directed neck for high-browsing. Also when you restore the dorsals and shoulder blades at the correct angle, and restore the arm elements at their correct length, you find that most brachiosaur restorations were TOO conservative with the steepness of the upward tilt of the dorsals, correcting which tilts the neck up even more vertical. There are only a few fringe opinions in paleontology that argue otherwise, and they are based on theories, images and models that are demonstrably flawed (i.e. taking speculative restorations as truth, using images of crushed vertebrae in photoshop as-is, incorrect reconstruction of muscle attachments, etc.)

That said, it's always a good thing to read papers and see what is crushed and what isn't crushed. I find that the media is grossly unreliable and seems to change opinion on this, "whichever way a weak wind blows" every few years. So every time a single-issue curmudgeon publishes a "dinosaurs couldn't do this because I SAY SO" paper, the "mainstream" news stations act like the entire field has changed its opinion - a false impression which in the end actually erodes the credibility and reputation of science as a whole, because while theories may always be challenged, science is NOT constantly falsifying, resurrecting, and re-falsifying the same theories over and over again every 5 years or so, on the say-so of one or two part-time researchers and their pet theories.
Reply
:icontigris115:
tigris115 Featured By Owner 5 hours ago
I heard that the brachiosaurid neck isn't flexible enough to do the swan-esque curve
Reply
:icondinopithecus:
Dinopithecus Featured By Owner Edited Apr 6, 2016
I recall a blog post of yours criticizing made in 2009 Clash of the Dinosaurs. In the comments section, I recall a few comments of yours criticizing works (mainly those of John R. Hutchinson) claiming Tyrannosaurus to have been a slow animal. Just wondering, do you still believe what you said back then?

Also, what about the conflicting studies (involving Hutchinson, W. Scott Persons IV, and Philip J. Currie) regarding Tyrannosaurus' m. caudofemoralis and how it contributed to athleticism?
Reply
:iconpaleo-king:
Paleo-King Featured By Owner Edited Apr 8, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, I still disagree with Hutchinson's conclusions. There really isn't any convincingly good reason to believe that his corpulent reconstructions of T. rex are the most accurate.

The fact about T.rex is that  it was neither a purely fast animal nor a purely slow animal. It had different average speeds at different ages and sizes, as its body changed shape, and of course was probably spending more time resting than running, like more big predators. It can be tempting for folks like Horner, Hutchinson, etc. to attack those like Currie and Bakker who consider T. rex to have been a speedy predator and almost always described it as such (apparently attempting to supplant them as "mavericks" in the field, although Horner and Hutchinson end up coming across as anything but). However you have to consider WHY Bakker and folks like him pushed so hard on this idea of a raging-fast athletic T. rex. It was because for the previous hundred years there was a dogma of sorts in paleontology that T. rex was absolutely a slow-moving scavenger, cold-blooded, and if you didn't believe in that dogma you were more or less blackballed from most of the university and museum positions and ridiculed in the scientific press. Of course it wasn't just T. rex being abused this way for low-blow academic politics (just look at some of Colbert's mass-market hardcover characterizations of Brontosaurus!), but being the most iconic dinosaur, T. rex definitely was one of the biggest targets of maladaptive "orthodox" theorizing of those days.

Bakker, Currie, etc. simply had to take a radical view of T. rex to seriously challenge and weaken this torpid and overbloated orthodoxy of unquestioning stereotypes that was far past its shelf-life in the 70s. Yes Bakker's description of T. rex as "hurling itself at prey at 40 mph" is a bit extreme. But it was needed at the time, given that most of the field was still in the stranglehold of people like Colbert, Russell, Alexander, and their ilk, who preferred cozy "mammal-superiorist" consensus to the uncomfortable truth (that mammals were simply luckier than the dinosaurs, not "better animals"), and were seemingly incapable of imagining T. rex hurling anything except wind.

Yes, I do stand by my critique of "clash of the dinosaurs", T. rex and all. Far too many jowls, rolls and croc-like distensions on that one. Not too terribly helpful on an upright terrestrial predator, but lets also consider that even if you try to please Horner, Hutchinson, etc., it's not too terribly believable on a scavenger either! The vast majority of terrestrial scavengers are NOT fat jiggly animals of gigantic stature, but rather, small thin scrawny animals. When do we ever see a big species monopolize scavenging with a few individuals? Never - it's always large numbers of small creatures like jackals, wild dogs, etc. Scavenging does not take the sort of massive trophic resource expenditure required to produce something as big as a T. rex, which takes around 30 years to grow to full size and whose numbers are relatively small. Even bugs and bacteria can scavenge and consume dead matter, even if it is Triceratops-sized - and multiply/mature far more quickly to do so effectively.

Chubby titanosaurs? by all means have at it! But chubby tyrannosaurs? bah don't make me pass out laughing. :XD:

The caudofemoralis of T. rex is (as one might expect) very similar to that of older and smaller tyrannosaur species so I do believe it was an athletic-leaning factor. Of course the position gradually changed in larger tyrannosaurs, but even in the biggest ones, conceivably we are talking about the sort of leg and tail musculature that could pull off 32 mph without too much difficulty, considering the big stride length. Also it's fair to mention that an animal's metatarsals and toes are a better lengthwise indicator of speed than the shin (which is the unit that Horner, Hutchinson, etc. rely on to "disprove" fast T. rexes, largely ignoring the rest of the lower leg). T. rex has long metatarsals and very long toes, and these were of course the tip of its stride, which made an exponentially greater impact on traction and speed than the shin length. Even a big individual like Sue or MOR 008 could probably run circles around Acrocanthosaurus or Giganotosaurus given the differences in leg and foot proportions, as well as legs vs. body length ratios.

Obviously the reality isn't as black-and-white as Horner's overgrown alligator vs. Bakker's touchdown-acing quarterback. There is a lot more nuance to T. rex speed, with all sorts of factors from the size, age, health and morphology of the individual to the actual composition of the terrain under its feet to the grade of the slope (if there was one) that the dinosaur was running on. But overall, I think T. rex was just as suited for fast running as any other large terrestrial theropod, and in fact more so than some others. That however does NOT mean it was running all the time just for the heck of it, or that it is somehow accurate or representative of T .rex life to illustrate them just sprinting and doing little else. Predators try to expend as little energy as possible in catching prey, to conserve as much as possible for future hunts, so inevitably a 300 yard dash was more their cup of tea than a marathon. Adult rexes started to become more graviportal in their proportions than the little ones, but still retained cursorial leg articulation and musculature.

Yes, in the 70's Bakker's super-athletic and chiseled "Carl Lewis rexes" were much needed to shake the field out of its complacent catatonic state, but they're not so much representative of the average day in a T. rex's life as a pointed reminder of the one activity that Colbert, Russell, Alexander etc. (and their modern successors Horner, Hutchinson, etc.) refused to allow it to do in the literature - ironically the ONE that made the existence, survival, and even the environment's necessity of this amazing species possible, i.e. running after live food that smaller and lighter predators could not tackle or keep in check. If you were to ask me who has done the most anatomically accurate T. rex art, however, I would probably leave aside Bakker and put it as a tossup between Greg Paul, Andrey Atuchin, Brian Franczak, Wayne Barlowe, and (shocker, I know) Dave Marrs.
Reply
:icondinopithecus:
Dinopithecus Featured By Owner Edited Apr 12, 2016
Thanks! Although, I already knew CotD sucked in terms of accuracy.

What do you think of the ~18mph estimate for Tyrannosaurus by William Sellers and Phil Manning? My problem with their methods was that I don't really believe they were able to take into account certain anatomical characteristics or factors that made the dinosaur so cursorial (arctometatarsals, tail muscles, tendons, and septa, limb growth allometry apparently akin to that observed in ungulates, which maintain a constant top speed even as they get larger*).

Likewise, what do you think of the "nerves" thing about its ability to run fast (link)? I think there are some good critical points made against it in the comments section.

Lastly, about how fast do you think other similar-sized, predatory theropods (e.g. Giganotosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, etc.) would have been?

*Read that from Tyrannosaurus rex, the Tyrant King.
Reply
Add a Comment: