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All your dinosaur questions answered -- (slight exaggeration)



Nobody else has mentioned it, so I suppose I should.

List members are, no doubt, familiar with the dinosaur reconstruction and
restoration work of paleoartist Tracy Lee Ford (who is a guy, in case you were
wondering), as seen in such works as George "Dinogeorge" Olshevsky's
_Archosaurian Articulations_ and _Dinosaur Frontline_, and _The Complete
Dinosaur_ and _The Dinosaur Society Dinosaur Encyclopedia_.  He has often
posted to this list with reams of references on a host of dinosaur subjects.

He has recently compiled a number of his excellent _Prehistoric Times_ articles
into a 93 page softback book he calls _How To Draw Dinosaurs, book 1_.  For
those of you who haven't experienced these articles, 17 of which Ford
reproduces in the book, each addresses a dinosaur reconstruction or restoration
problem, and brings to bear not only Tracy Ford's artistic output (mostly
skeletal line drawings) but also his study of numerous scientific papers, whose
pertinent content is explained in simple but accurate terms.

Covering such popular restoration concerns as "Sauropod Feet," "Stegosaurs,"
"Give Theropods no Lip!," "Sclerotic rings, The Eyes have it," "Ceratopian
Stance," and "How many fingers did Compsognathus have?," each of Ford's
articles provides a brief illustrated survey of the evidence and opinions
available,  concluding with his own take on the issue.  These thoughtful
articles also include extensive references, which I suspect are more complete
than the references listed in the original _Prehistoric Times_ publications.
This is not a slick, glossy publication, but in this case, the expedient
printing process used is probably not too problematical; Tracy Ford's black and
white line drawings are simple and uncluttered, so that a minimum of detail is
lost.  One minor quibble I have with the book is that the label numbers on the
figures don't always seem to match the illustrations, although one can usually
sort things out by the descriptions given.  You may not agree with Tracy Ford
on some of the conclusions he reaches, but his articles will provide you with
most of the information you need to reach your own conclusions, and you can
track down the original evidence with the help of the generous references that
follow each chapter.

In short, I would consider this simple, informative book a must for anyone who
considers producing dinosaur art.  It clearly shows the conscientious work
involved in creating the most accurate paleoart possible, given currently
available information.  It is not a colorful coffee table book, but, in my
opinion, it is a good resource none the less.

You can order the book for $25 (US) from:

Tracy Ford
P.O. Box 1171
Poway  CA  92074
(U.S.A.)

Tracy didn't put me up to this; I just like his articles a lot.  OK?

-- Ralph W. Miller III       gbabcock@best.com

Tracy:  Sorry if this makes you blush.  8^)