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Re: Sneak Peak at Yale Torosaurus Sculpture

Dear Andrew and List,

    I am extremely disatisfied with this sculpture. There are many glaring
anatomical inaccuracies besides the cheek controversy. The two main ones,
besides the fact that the whole sculpture is misproportioned, is that they
based the skull on the old plaster, spit and hail Mary guesswork of the
original reconstructions of the 19th century. I understand that the Peabody
has the original smashed flat elongated skull material, but hey, complete
skulls have been around for over seven years, and they don't look anything
like the original Marsh reconstructions.
    The second thing that bugs me, is that the two smallest frount toes have
nails. My understanding, is that no archeosaurs have nails on the last two
phalanges of the front feet. Please feel free to correct me if anyone on the
list knows something I don't, but I was severely reemed when I made this
same mistake years ago on one of my earlier pieces.
    Ah, cheeks. I don't know if ceratopsians had cheeks either, but I do
know that armored dinosaurs did based on a skull at the ROM. I would have to
get the information from Jim Kirkland, but I have actually seen the skull
cast of a campanian ankylosaur with dermal armor plate directly over it's
jaw, and the otherside of it's jaw missing the armor plate. In other words
it had to have some kind of cheek, to support the dermal armor. I have
worked on ceratopsian reconstructions with paleontologists on many
occasions, and none of them could convince me that ceratopsians were
cheekless based on their conclusions.
    As Andy knows, Torosaurus is probably my favorite dinosaur. I wish that
when the commissions are handed out to make paleontological
reconstrucutions, that the powers that be would take the time to open bids
up to professionals. I am seeing more and more bronze monument dino
sculptures coming forward that make the giant concrete dinos on the I-10,
going into California look like a Steven Czerkas original.
    Oh, and just in case I am coming off as sour grapes, I am set. I have
two bronze monument paleontological sculpture commissions in the works. I
just received the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm full sized
Dilophosaurus  commission, and will be starting A full sized Brontotherium
bronze monument for the Badlands National Park, in March 2006. My beef, is
that I know of quite a number of trained paleoartists who aren't getting
enough work, because the commissions are handed out to non paleoartists, and
man does it show.

Meant every word Cliff
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew A. Farke" <andyfarke@hotmail.com>
To: <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:04 AM
Subject: RE: Sneak Peak at Yale Torosaurus Sculpture

> Well. . .maybe ceratopsids didn't have cheeks? I was initially resistant
> this when Witmer first presented the idea, but then I started looking a
> little more closely on some real specimens. In most ceratopsid skulls, the
> anastomosing neurovascular impressions lead right up to the tooth row.
> observed this on both the dentary and the maxilla in multiple specimens of
> multiple taxa, and this suggests to me that maybe a tight covering of
> *something* extended right up to the teeth.
> Of course, I totally think Toro (and most other ceratopsids) would look
> better with some nice cheeks, but the evidence just doesn't support it in
> this group. Maybe a flap of skin at best? Who knows. . .
> During the building of the sculpture, a few anonymous ceratopsid workers
> U of Utah and Stony Brook, and some characters from Yale, were asked about
> the cheek issue. None of them (at least in my recall of events) were
> that strongly in favor of cheeks. And hey, what's wrong with shaking
> up a little bit?
> Andy
> ________________________________
> Andrew A. Farke, Graduate Student
> Department of Anatomical Sciences
> Stony Brook University
> T8 040 Health Sciences Center
> Stony Brook, NY  11794-8081
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
> > David Marjanovic
> > Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 10:53 AM
> > To: DML
> > Subject: Re: Sneak Peak at Yale Torosaurus Sculpture
> >
> > > http://cttrips.blogspot.com/
> >
> > No trace of cheeks! Unconvincing.