[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

_Deinonychus_



        Having just purchased (at a somewhat steep price) Ostrom's 1969
Ostelolgy of _Deinonychus_, I was impressed by one fundamental fact which
has affected public interpretation of this taxon since 1969: No one looked
past the first skull drawing.
        The first skull drawing (and the full skeletal restoration, which
includes the coracoid standing in for the pubis) shows the "lizard" shape we
are all sick and tired of, with the very short frontal, short tall snout,
and general "iguana" look to it. Two pages or so after this illustration
(which I presume appeared in the origional publication on _Deinonychus_) is
an illustration of the premax, max, and nasals in articulation. This shows
several important features which are now recognized, but which were largely
ignored until recently:
        1) the snout was long and low, *not at all* "iguana-like".
        2) the nasals were not "depressed" as in _Velociraptor_. Although I
applaud the contribution of those workers (I aopologise, I do not have their
names handy) who went all the way out and requarried to determine this and
present it at SVP '96, it was already there, in the literature!
        3) may I say this again? the snout is LOW and LONG, similar to how
Gregory Paul restored it (without the "depressed" nasals), and looks more
like it fits the Bakker _Dromaeosaurus_-like skull resoration which I have
seen reproduced (but for which I do not have a ref.).
        It seems clear the Ostrom knows this, as his current mount includes
the long low maxilla. Interestingly, he still restores the orbit as being
very narrow (does anyone know if this has been confirmed by the new finds?).
In any case, I would cite this as an example to all dinosaur artists out
there to do what Greg Paul did: look past the restorations and see if the
bones *match up* to the reconstruction you are working from before you do
*your* reconstruction.
        If you get a chance, look through this article, it is a treat!
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    Kaleidogram; n.                    |
| Department of Geosciences               A melange of branches, ones and  |
| Texas Tech University                   zeros caused by obsessive mani-  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                       pulation of cladistic data.      |    
| *** wagner@ttu.edu *** Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f|
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+