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A Paucity of Skeletons
The emphasis on life-like reconstructions of dinosaurs is producing some
terrific images; however, I'm finding it almost impossible to find
drawings or photos of certain mounted skeletons. I have a nice collection
of pictures of ceratopsian skeletons, and can find material for other
"popular" dinos, such as T. rex, sauropods, velociraptor, etc. Some of
the more unusual animals, however..
Two paleontologists have recently mentioned that many fleshed-out
drawings are based on past drawings, thus perpetuating mistakes.
Ceratosaurus provides an excellent example of this; I have probably a
dozen different drawings that reconstruct this carnosaur, and every one
of them is very different! Some Ceratosauruses (Ceratosauri?) look like
mean, lean fighting machines; others are positively corpulent. One sports
little plates, another a frill, and still others have no spinal
ornamentation at all! And the horn shapes vary considerably, too.
My lovely wife is drawing a series of illustrations for a book I'm
working on; she wants to work from source material (e.g., skeletons) as
opposed to copying the work of other artists. Is there a good
encyclopedia of skeletons, or are we going to be making the rounds of the
In particular, I need pictures or drawings of a good oviraptor skeleton.
I've search the Internet high and low (with a special focus on the
American Museum), and haven't found a single decent skeleton online. My
library is rather extensive, but the only oviraptor skeleton is in Lucas'
DINOSAUR: THE TEXTBOOK, and it's incomplete.
Things I need to know:
Different skull shapes (and possible sexual dimorphism in the Crest)
The existence (or not) of ossified tendons in the tail
Other dinosaurs of interest include:
Mononykus (and its relatioves)
Early birds/bird-like dinos
Thanks for any info.
<Scott Robert Ladd>
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