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Re: Illustrations as research tools (was Re: Archaeoraptor et al.)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tracy L. Ford" <dino.hunter@cox.net>
To: "Dinonet (E-mail)" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 12:00 AM
Subject: RE: Illustrations as research tools (was Re: Archaeoraptor et al.)

> In an early article I did for Prehistoric Times I bring up this specimen.
> Marsh's old incorrect drawing is duplicated over and over again in papers;
> Wellnhofer, Ostrom, etc. Lull (1934) figured and discussed this problem.
> Lull, R. S., 1934, Skull of Triceratops flabellatus recently mounted at
> Yale: The American Journal of Science, 5th series, v. 28, p. 439-442.
> I've seen the type specimen and I'm not sure how much of the horns are

Me too, and there is definitely a lot of plaster in that area. In Cathy
Forster's SVP papers on Triceratops, she says that the horns are totally
lacking. I'm not totally sure about that, but I think that there is
definitely a major amount of restoration.

> I do my best to accurately depict skulls and skeletons (and that is hard
> times and just plain guess work others). Sometimes looking at the drawings
> or photographs will stir something and we can go from there.

No doubt on that. . .I think that in most cases, the problem does not lie
with the illustrator. Problems occur when someone else looks at the paper,
misreads the caption, takes the drawing at face value, and codes a
phylogenetic analysis based upon their observations of the drawing. Or, as
you mentioned, incorrect drawings are duplicated over and over and over
again. Another example sprung to mind last night--the skull of
Dromiceiomimus. The drawing (which I've seen reproduced in popular and
scientific works, including The Dinosauria") is based upon an extremely
crushed and distorted skull (a ROM specimen, whose number I don't
immediately have at hand). In Parks' original paper, he clearly noted that
his ink-rendered illustration of the specimen was highly speculative. Ah
well, such is paleo-publication. . .

Andrew A. Farke
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Box P301
501 E. St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD  57701

Phone: 605-394-2817

E-mail: andyfarke@hotmail.com