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Re: Beautifully horrible



John wrote:
> Just before the beautiful fossils thread started I was thinking of asking 
> what people's most horrible fossil skull was.  I think it's hard to beat 
> Rhamphorynchus - truly the stuff that nightmares are> 

I like those questions, it wakes the child in me again, mildly scared 
but enormously attracted to all those long-gone but so familiar 
creatures in my books...

my vote:

the Dunkleosteus head armour: with that merciless, robotic 
appearance, the armoured eyes and the machinal jaw apparatus: the 
fish from hell.

the anteosaurid skulls, best known from the Titanophoneus skulls: 
unlike anything we know now, with that horrible battery of 
intermeshing and forwardly protruding teeth.
next to that: the skull of the gorgonopian Inostrancevia, as can be 
seen on the Russian Dinosaur Casting Project webpage: Cerberus, the 
hell hound of the ancient Greeks must have been something like that.

Kronosaurus: the Dreadnought, or Bismarck of the Cretaceous seas with 
it's over 2m skull well equiped with fierce teeth. In fact, when I 
look at any plesiosaur head, I am a bit shocked by the unfriendly 
appearance and abundance of spiky teeth.

Carnotaurus and Majungatholus: unlike other theropods 
(with exception of Oviraptor and it's kin) which have a certain 
elegance with their rather elongated, delicate skulls, those 
abelisaurs with their short, sturdy skulls only give the feeling of 
brute force and unmoderated carnivory.

Well, this was a bit long and devoid of interesting information, back 
to more serious items as cladistics again...

Pieter Depuydt