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Purposefully false restorations?
In the recent issue of Prehistoric Times, artist Mike Milbourne, without
naming names, accuses the restorers of Giganotosaurus and
Carcharodontosaurus of purposeful falsehood in the restoration of their
respective finds in an effort to upstage Tyrannosaurus rex. I'd heard
this in the past from another prominent dinosaur artist (in a private
conversation, so I won't say who), but not as strongly as put by
Milbourne in PT.
I'm providing some quotes from the article, entitled "Giganotosaurus:
Not Rex Enough", to get listmember input on some of Milbourne's
assertions. Is he right? Mike, if you're a member, please feel free to
jump in (Mike Fredericks, could you forward to Milbourne if you have his
e-mail address? Thanks!)
(I've decided not to employ the standard convention of attributing
grammatical errors to the original author/publication (that being
'sic'), as this would clutter things up too much.)
"Right from the offset of these two discoveries, it seemed to me as if
importance was never placed upon the proper collection and documentation
of the fossil material. It seemed as if the goal was for certain
paleontologists to gain access to the "lime light", by claiming that
they had found a meat eating dinosaur with a skull larger than that of
Tyrannosaurus rex. And what better way to draw attention to yourself
than to make a claim like that. With dollar signs in their eyes these
paleontologists turned their backs on real professional scientific work.
They could have cared less about presenting their fossil material in a
scientific manner . . . ."
"The missing skull elements of both Giganotosaurus and
Carcharodontosaurus were purposefully and falsely elongated and enlarged
for the specific intent of coming up with a skull that was supposedly
larger than the skull of Tyrannosaurus rex. In the case of
Carcharodontosaurus the premaxilla was extremely over exaggerated and
extended to ridiculous proportions in an attempt to make the skull as
long as possible. The same is true with the Giganotosaurus skull,
except this time the stretching was done at the back of the skull.
There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to make money from a
dinosaur discovery but not at the expense of accurate scientific data."
Melbourne then goes on to compare G. and T. at length, and provides some
very handsome restorations, presumably in a uniform scale, of skulls (T.
being the biggest, with G. and C. looking rather shrimpy by comparison).
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