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Finally, an aetosaur!

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Stagonolepis, the eponymous stagonolepid aetosaur. These odd, beaked, croc-line archosaurs were sort of like armored pig-crocs, apparently using their upturned snouts to root around for roots and other vegetative matter, and possibly insects and grubs (though the latter is more controversial). They were very successful for a brief time in the latter parts of the Triassic, and then were gone, along with the loss of most other crurotarsans.

I avoided doing an aetosaur for a long time (and pushed this commission back to the last possible moment). Not only is the armor obviously a huge pain, but the vertebral column was poorly documented and I was concerned that it would prevent me from restoring even the basic shape of the animal. After talking about this with some other researchers and amassing a ton of papers and photos, it turns out that Walker's venerable 1961 monograph on Stagonolepis actually had some of the key data in it that I needed. So here you go.
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Comments35
anonymous's avatar
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indigomagpie's avatar
Is that an upright posture?
aspidel's avatar
Anyway it's a good idea to have commissioned you for unusual archosaurs.
When I find the time for some more drawings...
grisador's avatar
Crocodiles\crocodymorphs were truly the most successful group isn't it ? An omnivorus boar croc ? Always welcome :D
Apgigan's avatar
Since you seem to be doing a lot of Triassic reptiles.....why not Longisquama? Most of the skeletals I've seen are either really old or David Peters. Longisquama needs some love! (Not demanding or anything)
DrScottHartman's avatar
The short and easy (if cynical) answer is that Longisquama wasn't on the list of commissions that these were on.
purple-hermit's avatar
A rather unusual creature. It walked flat on it's hindfeet?
DrScottHartman's avatar
Most croc-line archosaurs are plantigrade on their hind feet.
arvalis's avatar
I gotta ask, how much does one of these cost to commission?  I can't imagine how much research goes into each of your skeletals. 
ZEGH8578's avatar
Careful! After the Scutellosaur armor, now this one, we´re gonna start expecting unarmored + armored AND one showing only the known fossils! 3 in one! Oh man, I can´t wait! =D
ZoPteryx's avatar
Fantastic work! :)  Good skeletals on these sorts of animals are so hard to come by.  Hopefully there's more odd crurotarsans in store the future, though I totally understand if there's not, what with all the armor plating and all. ;)

Is it just me, or does the snout actually look sort of delicate for an animal that's supposed to be using it for digging?  Is it more robust in dorsal view?
DrScottHartman's avatar
There's no immediate plans for additional crurotarsans, although I think I could get aetosaurs done more quickly now. The big nasal opening does make the snout look a bit delicate. The snout may have been covered in a horny beak, which would have certainly reinforced it.
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
These things look so cool. Glad to see someone made a skeletal of them :)
Paleo-reptiles's avatar
Dear Scott, I should tell you "Thank you for drawing these valuable illustrations". but I think it is good that that outer bones(armored bones) have a gray color for recognize of bones inside body!
Jeda45's avatar
If you keep doing all of these skeletals of osteoderm-bearing animals, you're going to become known as Scute Hartman.

Aetosaur? More like neatosaur.
CJCroen's avatar
Ooh, strange!
EclecticManta's avatar
I don't blame you for dreading that armor. It has so many parts!! This is amazing though I honestly never even thought these animals existed!! Armored pig-crocs. Gotta do some more research on these myself haha
QueenSerenity2012's avatar
Between this and your recent Coelophysis I'm in skeletal reconstruction heaven!
theblazinggecko's avatar
So they had ventral plates / osteoderms on it's belly?  Seems like an advantage Ankylosaurs missed out on, why must nature be so cruel?
Eriorguez's avatar
Ah, it is good to see skeletals of those animals not made by David Peters...
PedroSalas's avatar
With that armour what was this animal defending itself from?
anonymous's avatar
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