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Brian Franczak questions, quite rightly, the assumption that baryonychids_ (and,
by inference, their relatives) were piscivorous.
> Piscivorous means "fish-eating." The question then becomes, why is
> _Baryonyx_ considered a piscivore? Because it appears crocodilian in some
> aspects, and because a single specimen of _Baryonyx_ ate a single fish?
> This is not a logical assumption.
The whole perception of these dinosaurs as salmon-eating bear analogues is yet
another demonstration of the Power of Art. It's hard to find a restoration of
_Baryonyx_ where it isn't gaffing or grabbing a fish. Fact is, the impact of
artistic restorations is so great that nice, early, accessible pictures
influence just about all of the artists that attempt restorations thereafter.
Examples are the so-oft repeated colour scheme of _Phorusrhacos_ (following
Burian's pampas scene), the plumed head of _Syntarsus_ you can see in many
illustrations (following Bakker's drawing in his famous _Sci. Am._ article) and
the many recent dinosaur pics where the colour schemes are identical to those
created by John Sibbick for Norman's _Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs_
(e.g. _Euoplocephalus_ with green armour).
It has become clear that artistry does not only reflect opinion, but also shapes
future interpretation. Restorers of extinct life take note!
1) Does anyone have a ratite skeleton to hand?
2) Hang in there with the stamps - I am _not_ ignoring you.
"We're here to preserve democracy, not to practise it"