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Dino Behavior (was Re: Pubic Boots )

Yo Michael,

> With the recent focus on the close relationship
> between birds and dinosaurs coupled with the bipedal
> nature of birds ( as opposed to the sprawling, 
> quadrapedal stance of crocodilian stock )

As I understand crocs are semi-sprawlers, and their
ancestors had nearly parasagittal gaits. When
comparing bipedal birds and dinosaurs you also run
into problems. In some cases it's fine (i.e. comparing
the Ornithomimosauria and ratites), but birds lack an
elongate tail, so assumptions about locomotion and
posture are still somewhat unreliable. Overall though,
I would agree with a fairly avian gait for theropods. 

> It is often suggested that caution be used when
> comparing mammalian forms to dinosaurs i.e.the 
> classic sauropod / elephant comparison. 

Yes, MUCH caution. The days of leathery elephant-like
sauropods are over. While they made spectacular art a
few years ago, we now know they looked like more like
stretched-out iguanas! I think it's impossible to find
a modern analogue for animals like T. rex and
Edmontosaurus, so speculation is bound to produce wild
restorations. Another area in paleo-illustration I
feel is going a bit overboard is feathered
ornithischians. Just because some advanced theropods
had feathers doesn't mean they are plesiomorphic for
the dinosaurs. I regard dinosaurs as a peculiar mix of
basal archosaur and bird characteristics. The only
reason I brought this up is because so many artists
when trying to flesh-out dinosaurs seem to choose
bird-like features if given a choice. How many
theropods have you seen with crocodilian-like heads in
paintings (excluding spinosaurs)? If anything, they
look like varanid lizards. When we see drawings of,
say, Torvosaurus, do you see the plate-like scutes of
crocs on their stomachs and sides? Nope. This
imbalance irritates me. I'm not bitching about the
excellent portraits of dinosaur life by yourself, HP
Gregory Paul, and many many others....I would just
like to see a few croc-like dinos here and there.
Maybe i'll take the time to draw one sometime and see
what kind of reaction it gets. Anyway, thanks for
tolerating my lunatic ravings - TTYL

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