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Re: More on the Massospondylus embryos

Luis Rey (luisrey@ndirect.co.uk) wrote:

<What nags me  is that even if the illustration looks fanciful it seems to
represent what the article is saying...  that the hatchlings would be
'crawlers' and then become bipeds as adults. That is pretty novel to me. Could
it be that the writer of the article was following the illustration given or is
it a  new  theory backed by Robert Reisz as the article seems to imply?>

  Luis, and others,

  I'm sure otjher illustrators have come up against a project where it states
for them to draw something, and they might sit back and think that "no, that
doesn't seem right..." or "there's something a bit wonky in how that animal is
standing...." But to get the project done (and get paid) you draw it anyway, to
specification. Some of us get a lot of leeway, and being asked to draw
something in the general helps. But being asked to draw something repeatedly
until the request satisfies the project manager, you realize people can be
picky ... or they are trying to get a concept over to another person as clearly
as I think they can. Sometimes you have to think visually to properly describe
an artistic visual.

  "Draw Massospondylus running on two legs, neck horizontal...."

  This can be very subjective.

  The artist in question, Gabriel Lio, is a very competant artist, and this
looks like a commercial project. I am fortunate (as I am sure Luis has been) to
have projects that offered a lot of leeway.

  "Draw a hyena..."

  Okay, that one gives me a lot of room....


  The possibility that *Massospondylus* can run probably, as it does us,
involves putting the animal into a state of disjuncted equilibrium.
Essentially, running in humans means keeping your feet under your center of
gravity while trying to push the CoG forward as fast as your can. We're falling
a lot and keeping our legs beneath us. For an animal that is a faculative biped
like I'm sure at least _some_ 'prosauropods' were, the ability to run bipedally
is an option that seems to be largely possible, if improbable for the animal
when you just look at it standing still. Unlike other quadrupeds, the forelimbs
are extremely short, yet unlike bipeds, the trunk and neck are very long. I
think Reisz et al. may need to consider rotating the neck up for a jogging
excercise, or present their data on why the neck must be horizontal.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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