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SPINOSAURID SKULLS



> 
> Darren Naish <dwn194@soton.ac.uk> writes:
> >DON'T you go drawing _Spinosaurus_ with a _Baryonx_ head neither. 
> >It's naughty.
> 
> Before I give myself a good spanking, can someone confirm this?  
> Not a _Baryonyx_-like head after all???  Did it possibly have a 
> _Dilophosaurus_-like head?

OK, sorry to confuse. Look, people are _soooooo_ keen to illustrate dinosaurs
these days that animals known from extremely scrappy or misleading remains find
themselves being illustrated. OK, there are a great many taxa where, a la Paul,
there is enough info to create an accurate life restoration. 

And _Spinosaurus_ of course, is not - yet - one of these. Everybody knows this!
Everybody knows that all those artists that created spinosaurs based on
allosaurs or tyrannosaurs committed cardinal sins when they did. But now that
there is a (general) consensus that _Spinosaurus_ and _Baryonx_ are related, an
artist is still doing wrong when he/she gives _Spinosaurus_ a _Baryonx_ head.
Yes, it's a reasonable guess, given that the two are close relatives (but ask
Angela Milner if you'd like a disagreement), to do so, and I don't doubt that,
in ways, _Spinosaurus_' skull had much in common with _Baryonx_' skull (as we
know from what's left of the jaws for example). 

BUT but but.... we are talking about animals that are in the same FAMILY here,
not in the same genus. Using _Baryonx_' skull for _Spinosaurus_ would be like,
let's be imaginative here, putting an okapi skull on a sivathere (forget the
horns, the impact is the same), or a goose skull on a mallard. To do so would
be an inaccuracy, yes it would be roughly correct - roughly - but, if a dinosaur
can't be illustrated as accurately as can a living animal (let's forget soft
parts and colours for time being), it shouldn't be illustrated at all.

So go on, bite my head off.....

BIRD SPECIES

As of last year, there were... 9523 extant bird species in 1917 genera (this
count includes _Xenoperdix udzungwensis_, the most recently discovered bird I
am aware of). Would someone please tell Bob Bakker... maybe then he'd stop using
'8000' or '8300' as species estimates.

"Well I had thought of relocating somewhere where I'd be more appreciated -
California perhaps - I could teach earthquake preparedness"

DARREN NAISH