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Complaining



Is it really too much to ask the people doing digital dinosaur animation to 
at least try to get things close to right? 

The third NOVA program on Australia. Hadrosaurs galloping on their slender 
forelimbs. No way, they trotted or paced using the arms to add some speed 
and especially turning agility. (Some of the footage may have been picked up 
from an earlier program.) Galloping Triceratops. Even assuming it was as fast 
as rhinos the trot/gallop transition speed at that mass is so high that it 
would probably have trotted or paced, even if smaller ceratopsians galloped 
at that speed. And stiff backed running quadrupedal dinosaurs may never have 
galloped like flexible backed quad mammals. Stegosaurs trotting when at 
most they ambled like elephants. The sauropods were walking with absurdly 
flexed elbows. The sauropod skin was all wrong. Sort of like crocodilians. Why? 
We have samples of sauropod skin. All these decades of publishing on this 
stuff and often its like we are still in the early 70s. 

Then there are the apatosaurs in the ad for My Beloved Brontosaurus near 
the front of the current Sci Amer. The form is not too bad actually. But the 
one with the person feeding it is super duper colossal. The head is about 5 
feet long. And since sauropods were probably omnivores that picked up small 
animals for the calcium, proteins etc, one that big would probably eat a 
human rather than accept a few leaves (too bad the brachiosaurs didn't eat the 
bratty kids in the trees in JP1, they could have done it). Only if that huge 
bit of "Amphicoelius" vertebrae from near the top of the Morrison at Garden 
Park is an apatosaur could one be as big as shown. That would be about 
80-100 tonnes (compared to 20 t for the mounted specimens). I suspect that the 
dorsal if it is real is an apatosaur or similar robust sauropod because they 
have such huge dorsals relative to their mass etc. Most irritating is that 
the skin is again wrong. What is it about skin? Even major paleoartists are 
still getting it wrong in many cases. Why? 

Odd that the name is Brontosaurus. I tend to agree. The type Apatosaurus is 
probably not diagnostic, while Brontosaurus is based on the Yale mounted 
skeleton. 

GSPaul</HTML>