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Carnotaurus skin impressions (long)
Dave <email@example.com> wrote:
> I have never seen an illustration of the fossilized skin of Carnotaurus
> sastrei. My understanding is that it contains small tubercle-like scales
> with larger scales or plates in a more less regular pattern. Is any of
> skin of the head preserved? How large are the scales?
You can find photographs of these impressions in:
Bonaparte, J.F., Novas, F.E., and Coria, R.A. (1990). _Carnotaurus sastrei_
Bonaparte, the horned, lightly built carnosaur from the Middle Cretaceous
of Patagonia. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, _Contributions
In Science_ No. 416, pp. 1-42.
Currie, Philip J., and Padian, Kevin, editors, _Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs_
(1997) Academic Press, San Diego, California, ISBN 0-12-226810-5. See:
_Skin_ by Stephen Czerkas, p. 674.
Arnold, Caroline, _Dinosaurs All Around: An Artist's View of the
Prehistoric World_ (1993) Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, New
York, NY, ISBN 0-395-62363-4.
Stephen Czerkas was the first to sculpt this animal, and, having located
some of the skin impression material himself, knew the skin very well. For
the uninitiated, this animal has given us a better look at theropod skin
than any other species -- far better. Czerkas' discussion of the skin in
the above-mentioned _Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs_ is the most thorough to
date. He states that the skin was preserved on the right side of the
animal, the largest patch being found near the base of the tail. In
_Discover_ magazine, March 1989, Czerkas states that the _Carnotaurus_ skin
impressions were found representing "skin from essentially the entire
length of the animal, even the skull."
The _Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs_ passage further states that 5mm tubercles
surround low, conical studs 4 or 5 cm in diameter, which were arranged in
irregular rows 8-10 cm apart. The non-bony conical studs run the length of
the animal, increasing in size as they approach the spine.
Czerkas' sculptural studies may provide us with the best available picture
of this specimen's integument. You can see photographs of the scale model
in the following publications:
Czerkas, Sylvia J. and Czerkas, Stephen A., _Dinosaurs: A Global View_
(1991) Mallard Press, NY,NY, ISBN 0-7924-5606-8, pp. 166-7.
Lessem, Don, Skinning the Dinosaur, _Discover_, March 1989, pp. 39-44.
Czerkas, Stephen and Czerkas, Sylvia, _My Life With the Dinosaurs_ (1989)
Pocket Books, division of Simon & Schuster Inc., NY, NY, ISBN
The full-size sculpture is on view in _Dinosaurs All Around_, _Encyclopedia
of Dinosaurs_, and the following:
Lessem, Don, Bringing Dinosaurs to Life, _Earth_, April 1996, pp. 36-43.
_Science News_, May 14, 1994, cover.
Psihoyos, Louie, and Knoebber, John, _Hunting Dinosaurs_ (1994) Random
House, NY, NY, ISBN 0-679-43124-1, p. 165.
You can also see his full-size _Carnotaurus_ sculpture at the Natural
History Museum of Los Angeles County, at the Czerkas' own The Dinosaur
Museum in Monticello, Utah, and at the museum in Taipei, Taiwan, the latter
featuring a hall of life-size dinosaur restorations created by or
supervised by Stephen Czerkas with the assistance of Sylvia Czerkas. Also,
any theropod sculpture that Stephen and Sylvia Czerkas have produced to
date -- including _Allosaurus_, _Deinonychus_, _Herrerasaurus_, and
_Compsognathus_, has presumably been strongly influenced by the fossilized
integument impressions of _Carnotaurus sastrei_, since there hasn't been
much else to go on.
If I may digress to the topic of some of these latter sculptures, perhaps I
should point out that Tracy Ford has stated that Rudolfo Coria indicated
that _Herrerasaurus_ integument has been discovered -- but not yet written
up -- (this may or may not be reflected in Czerkas' _Herrerasaurus_
sculptures, I don't know) and fossils of _Sinosauropteryx prima_ suggest
that a revision of _Compsognathus longipes_ is due.
You didn't ask about this, but in case you didn't already know, Gregory S.
Paul's illustration of _Carnotaurus sastrei_ in _Predatory Dinosaurs of
the World_ featured lachrymal horns which were too flat, and Paul
subsequently corrected the illustration for all of the more recent
-- Ralph Miller III firstname.lastname@example.org