Showing posts with label Theropods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Theropods. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Awesome Digital Tyrannosaurus rex

The artist is Vlad Konstantinov (must...avoid...They Might Be Giants...reference) and this is a really incredible piece of work. This is what the tyrannosaur in Walking with Dinosaurs should have looked like. Clearly, we have the technology! He used a variety of software: 3Ds Max, ZBrush, Photoshop, Vray, and Brazil r/s. I don't know what any of that means, but it clearly works. Congratulations to Vlad, and I hope to see more of his work someday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beipiaosaurus Part the Second

Cross your fingers--let's hope this sucker opens for you when you click on it. If not, admire it from afar. So basically, I took the low-res photo of the new Beipiaosaurus specimen and blew it up in Corel, then used my awesome new Wacom to outline the bones (as best I could) and point viewers to the awesome quills (blue) and throat pouch (red). Really beautiful fossil, but I wish I had a higher-res image! Actually, here's a question for you Photoshop/Corel experts out there: Is there a way to save the image without the canvas? I think that would make the resulting image a whole lot easier to see.
Editz: Yes, question from the back. Sean asks how much stock I put into the idea that the quills on Beipiaosaurus are homologous with those of Psittacosaurus. Honestly? Not a whole lot at this time. The quills are similar in that they're hollow, essentially tubular structures. However, the quills of Psittacosaurus are longer, thicker, and more flexible. They are also preserved only on the tail, although the fossil's uneven state of preservation might account for that. Here's what would convince me: a basal tetanurine theropod with feathers or better yet, a coelophysoid theropod with feathers. But then you'd ALSO need a basal ornithischian with feathers. Count thyreophorans out--I think they're covered (HA!).
Given the composition of most dinosaur skin impressions, I'd guess that feathers are NOT plesiomorphic for Dinosauria. These are animals with scaley skin and, oftentimes, armor. Would the feathers erupt from between the scales? I doubt it. Right now, I think it's safer to say that coelurosaurs developed true feathers, and psittacosaurs did their own thing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beipaiosaurus, Wowsers!

Ed Yong over at Not Exactly Rocket Science has a wonderful post up about an even more wonderful fossil of Beipaiosaurus, everyone's favorite feathered therizinosaur. Aside from the headline-grabbing quills, the specimen presents incredibly well-preserved skeletal elements previously unknown in the taxon, including a beautiful skull. I'd like to see what comparisons can be drawn between Beipaiosaurus' skull and that of Falcarius. The outline of the animal's neck and throat pouch is equally intriguing. Nice articulated hyoid bone, too.
EDITZ: Thanks to Ed and Dr. Holtz for sending me the paper.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scorpion-Eating Theropod?

Until I get on the ball (I've been busy the last few days), I'm going to point you in the direction of the Hairy Museum of Natural History if you want to find out about a brand-spanking new abelisaur named Skorpiovenator. No, it didn't eat scorpions. The authors named it after the deadly arthropods that infested the dig site! Skorpiovenator wasn't very big, but it has a very interesting skull! Abelisaurs are just plain cool, so check it out! And I'll work on my own post in the meantime.