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Struthiomimus Exhibit



Jim Morgan said, "Check out this link for our latest bronze exhibit
addition:"


http://www.mesatc.cc.nm.us/news/struthiomim.pdf

I did just that and although the sculpture is highly dramatic, beautiful,
and pleasing in general form and composition, there seems to be some
problems with the pterosaur's (Nyctosaurus') wings:  No joint is apparent
distinguishing the distal ends of the radius and ulna from the metacarpals,
nor is there (at least as viewed in the web page) any sign of a pteroid bone
or of a propatagium.  Going back from approximately the distal end of the
humerus (or maybe a little farther out -- it's hard to tell from the photos)
and, again, extending back from what would be the distal end of the
metacarpals (if they were illustrated), one sees things resembling a
structural members (they do not look like simple buckling of the wing
membrane), as if the artist were trying to pattern the pterosaur wings after
those of a bat (albeit incorrectly even for a bat).

Also, the Struthiomimus' left manus (hand) is turned 'palm' downward, in a
way that theropod wrist structure did not allow, according to a paper I
heard Paul Sereno present at Dinofest '98 in Philadelphia, and as has been
discussed on this list.

Furthermore, I doubt the toothless Struthiomimus would have been "...in the
act of catching its next meal"  (quote of Dr. Adrian Hunt, curator of the
museum), since pterosaur bones were thin but strong and probably very
subject to splintering in a way that, without being chewed (no teeth), could
likely have proved fatal to a Struthiomimus.

Quite a bit of beauty and art but, IMHO, not enough science.

Beyond these formal problems, however, it is nice to see bronze sculptural
art increasingly becoming a part of any museum.  Furthermore, the
Struthiomimus/Nyctosaurus sculpture appears as a wonderful achievement in
bronze casting.

Thanks to the mesa Technical College for the look, and to Jim Morgan for the
heads-up link.

Ray Stanford

"You know my method.  It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes