44 Recent Deviations
Featured: Pliocene Moby Dick
AnchiornisWhat color is a dinosaur?
Error Rundown: Chased By DinosaursThe Giant Claw
Error Rundown: March of the DinosaursAs you may know, I wrote a docu-story focusing on the fauna of Prince Creek Formation in Alaska, so naturally March of the Dinosaurs, made by Impossible Picture and produced by Jasper James (the same people behind the Walking With...... series and Prehistoric Park) was a must do for me. This docu-film is very interesting in terms of aesthetic, given its odd mixture of nuance and outdated elements in regards to the portrayal of the animals.
The Monkey and the Typewriter
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What color is a dinosaur?
In older times you always guessed.
But microscopes can tell you more
Than plain conjecture at its best.
The understanding lacked before
Is with a struggle now possessed,
To learn the colors that I wore,
Like red within my crest.
As newer science comes along
To better understand the dead,
The finest paintings can be wrong,
Demanding others in their stead.
So always paint the color strong
On part of me that's tinted red.
You know the place it will belong:
The crest upon my head.
Error Rundown: Chased By Dinosaurs
The Giant Claw
The episode starts off rather badly with Saurolophus angustirostris, which is just the Edmontosaurus annectens from Death of a Dynasty, but with the former’s iconic stubby crest added.
While they were both saurolophin hadrosaurs and relatively closely related, Saurolophus had a head-shape very distinct from its American cousin, looking more like a giant duck https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saurolophus#/media/File:Saurolophus_skulls.jpg in contrast to the elongated, horse-ish or camel-ish skull of E.annectens https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmontosaurus#/media/File:Edmontosaurus_beak_right.jpg
Adding to the anatomical issues, the Edmontosaurus model itself was just a reskin of the Iguanodon with a different head, meaning
Error Rundown: March of the Dinosaurs
As you may know, I wrote a docu-story focusing on the fauna of Prince Creek Formation in Alaska, so naturally March of the Dinosaurs, made by Impossible Picture and produced by Jasper James (the same people behind the Walking With...... series and Prehistoric Park) was a must do for me. This docu-film is very interesting in terms of aesthetic, given its odd mixture of nuance and outdated elements in regards to the portrayal of the animals.
First off, the time frame is 70 mya (the early Maastrichtian) and this movie actually manages to avoid anachronism for the most part, though I say that a bit loosely, for several reasons.
One noticeable error is how many of the dinosaurs are frequently shown holding their tail in a low slung position, what’s up with that? Such a posture would have been, at best, very uncomfortable and strenuous for most dinos.
The conifer trees are shown turning orange as winter approaches? Eh, that’s not how conifers work, unlike deciduous trees,
The Monkey and the Typewriter
A monkey in a forest found a typewriter one day,
And knelt before the strange device upon his hairy knees.
He could not grasp what it was for, but used it anyway,
And every morning came again to sit and strike the keys.
No Shakespeare, Keats or Twain was he; his text was no delight,
For never once did he look down to see what key he struck.
A page of random letters was the most that he could write,
And if a meaning could be found, the cause was only luck.
The monkey had eleven heirs, and fate struck all but one,
Whose mind was wise to danger that no other monkey sees.
And when the elder typed no more, his only living son
Took up his father's typewriter, and sat to strike the keys.
His sharper mind uncovered truths that once had been concealed,
Perceiving that for every stroke, an inky mark occurred.
And inspiration came like a banana newly peeled:
These symbols could be paired and mixed to form a simple word.
Another generation came, and others came in turn.
The monkeys probed their fo
How to Tell if a Fossil Hominid was Bipedal
Human evolution is obviously one of the most important aspects of human history, so I've decided to post information on how to tell whether or not a fossil hominid was bipedal. It's not as difficult as it sounds. The following list is by no means meant to be comprehensive. Just look upon it as a primer.
The first place to look is the head. All vertebrates have a hole in the skull through which the spinal cord connects with the brain. This hole is known as the Foramen magnum ("Big hole"). The foramen magnum in apes is positioned on the back of the skull due to their bent over posture. This of course goes back to our time in the trees when we had to look forward while running quadrupedally along the limbs. Humans have a foramen magnum positioned under the skull due to our upright posture. Next, the muscle attachment points on the occipital protuberance are positioned further back on the skull of an ape, while the attachment points
Regarding EPB: Thoughts for Palaeoartists
A purely EPB (extant phylogenetic bracket) reliant approach to creating life reconstructions of fossil animals can only go so far. Not every single extinct taxon belonging to a stem-clade of the more derived extant group of the bracket is going to display “transitional" characters towards those observed in the more derived extant taxa. Similarly, the characters observed in the more basal extant taxa of the bracket do not necessarily represent the condition of the common ancestor to all taxa in the bracket. Evolution isn't so linear. In many cases, stem-taxa to extant clades may have independently evolved characters utterly distinct from their more derived extant relatives - and often these characters are homoplasies to those seen in completely unrelated clades.
To give a less terminology-heavy example of this: not every single dinosaur displays characters representative of a transitional state between the characters observed in crocodylomorphs (the more basal taxa of t