I know I'm not completely insane. I wrote it down the name but now I can't remember were I put it. A largish Spinosaur/Megalosaur from the mid to late Jurassic of England. If anyone has any idea what the name of this beastie is please let me know!
Update: Thanks to Andrea Cau of Theropoda fame for figuring out my scambled ramblings. More when it's colored!
A few weeks ago after the horribly done Clash of the Dinosaurs over on the Discovery Channel they aired a show called Monster Revealed (or something similar I can't quite remember.) Anyways the special was about Spinosaurus. In general, it wasn't that horrible, they kept saying Spinosaurus was 60 feet but the animation clearly showed something with a head about 12 feet long (whick would put the animal around 80 feet or so.) It seriously dwarfed the Carcharodontosaurus they used along with the 30 foot Rugops (which it picked in it's mouth.)
The reason for the blogpost and image? They mentiond that one of the newest ideas was that the sail was used for hunting/fishing. Something similar to what I had mentioned earlier this year, I couldn't find anything about it online and knowing the track record of these dino specials I wasn't sure if someone might have happened upon my blog and missread it. They credited it to Dal Sasso who has done some fo the most recent work on Spinosaurus. This idea was slightly different than mine as it was saying the shade the sail provided was to attract the fish, mine was that the sail was used to help see the fish. I like the new idea myself so it's cool to think I might have provided an insight or at the very least came to a similar conclusion. Of course I might really be totally delusional in this;)
More dinos soon, I need to find a new Megalosaurus I drew (This new version based on a new paper makes the animal look more like an abelisaur.) A holiday image and a new spinosaur/megalosaur.
Surprisingly a new giant Tyrannosaur was announced last week. This animal was 30+ feet long. It's not that closely related to the later more familiar Tyrannosaurs but for the time period it's unexpected due to it's large size. Since the remains are pretty fragmentary most of the skull and body is a guess, based on other more complete relatives:)
This animal was announced over the summer, along with 2 large sauropods. Since it's the first good theropod remains from down under they named the beastie Autralovenator. I finally got around to drawing it, and a good thing I waited so long. Last week a new paper was published that finally (for now at least) sheds some light on a new group of theropods The Neovenatoridea. This appears to be a second group of allosaurs, the sister group of the Carchadontosaurs, and in this group is Australovenator and drum roll please.... Megaraptor.
So Megaraptor isn't a Spinosaur or a Carcharadontosaur but a really advanced allosaur. I'm still geeking about this!
More later, including a new giant Tyrannosaur.. oooohhhh!
I was going to try and get some actual reference for this one, but I could find none. I know I've seen some skull remains somewhere but my web-fu was not up to the challenge. Andrea Cau of Theropoda has proposed that this guy MIGHT actually be a late surviving carcharodontosaur, so I drew one up and added a quick tone. This is COMPLETELY hypothetical!!
Sorry for the slow posting, I've been busy. New stuff soon:)
Been a bit busy, so no time for anything major. Here's a hypothetical drawing of the hypothetical/mysterious Tyrannosaurus X. A possible gracile tyrannosaurus, that some believe is a separate species from the traditional Tyrannosaurus rex.
I'll try to get more in depth when I get a chance to color this up. But I'm trying to finish off these pages, start a new project, and draw a skull restoration:)
Sometimes the best stuff has already been dug up. Recently an old specimen (considered a sub species of Chilantaisaurus) has been re-examined and found to actually be a member of the carcharadontosaur family. So it's been renamed Shaochilong maortuensis.
This is the first instance of a carcharadontosaur in Asia. It's know from pretty scrappy remains and might actually turnout to be a juvenile, so this drawing it pretty hypothetical. The cool thing is that these animals might have actually feed on primative ceratopsians and competed with early tyrannosaurs.
Sorry it's not in color, but I just finally got it scanned! A Suchomimus catching a young plesiosaur.
A few years ago I was asked what I thought of the swimming Spinosaurus idea (I was told this was put forth by Robert Bakker but I've only heard it mentioned a few times so I have no idea.) At the time I said I found it unlikely, at least for Spinosaurus, the sail would be a hinderence in the water, waves would topple it, the local crocs would eat it for lunch as they were far more adapted to the water, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn't really look into it, I knew spinosaurs seemed to found close to water, and that they would eat fish (fish scales found in the stomach area of Baryonyx) but that's all I had read about swimming spinosaurs... until a few months ago.
Other than the scene in JP3 most of the spinosaur pictures show them wadding out into ankle deep water looking for fish, like some giant egret or stork. Since spinosaurs are so poorly known and fragmentary it's very difficult to get an idea about what they might have been doing, why did they get to big? Spinosaurs has been said to be 65 feet long dwarfing every other theropod, that's at least 17 feet longer than the next largest theropod (this is highly unlikely but is found all over the web. They were more likely similarly sized to the other large theropods, perhapse a bit longer but more gracile.) Did they eat fish exclusively? A spinosaur tooth has been found embeded in a pterosaur bone, along with the fish scales in Baryonyx's stomach were the remains of an Iguanadon (so the answer to that would be no.) How did they behave? Questions upon questions that we'll most likely never be able to fully answer.
I stumbled upon this site looking for skeletal reference: spinosauridae.fr.gd (This is the English translated version, its really easy to read so don't let the translation stop you!)
On the site are papers, drawings and pretty much the best place to go for info on spinosurs on the web. As I read the papers cited, and looked at the images, the site was trying to tell me something. The papers mentioned isotopes from spinosaur bones are more in line with crocodiles and animals that live in an aquatic habitat, foot print traces of swimming theropods... this site was arguing FOR semi aquatic spinosaurs. I spent a few hours looking everything over (I'd go over specifics some, but I can't get it to load properly, my computer has bogged down, but go read it for yourselves!) And while I think more finds need to be located, it's very compelling stuff. Semi aquatic spinosurs... cool!
A few months ago a new paper described a fossil impression of a sitting theropod. I had actually drawn a reconstruction of the beast months before, based on footprints from the area, known to some as the St George theropod. It's entirely speculative, but since there is no actual skeleton associated to the footprints, it's hard to say who the footprints actually belong to. It could actually be one of a number of known species but in this case nothing official has been named. So this is a hypothetical image of the track maker and below is a shot of the position it was in while sitting. For this image I actually chose a theropod that I had not drawn before, so this is a Liliensternus inthe resting position. Note the strange position of the front legs/arms, Freaky!
Carcharadontosaurus, a relative of Mapusaurs from Africa.
The last week or so I've been engaged in a discussion about theropods living in groups with a fellow blogger and Paleontologist. Basically it boils down to this. Since birds and crocs are dinosaurs closest relatives we should only use them it infer any behavior and biology. I disagreed and lots of comments and emails were exchanged. I was given a copy of the 2007 Deinonychus paper. A paper which is supposed to explain the feeding habits of Deinonychus. In it, the paper basically uses the ora, or what we in the west called the Komodo Dragon, as a comparison to the kill site were the 'raptors' were discovered. 4 raptors were found along with the carcase of a juvenile Tenontosaurus. The original idea being that the tenontosaurus either fell on or killed the 4 in the attack that cost it it's life. The fell on thing is kind of strange but the site is odd in itself. It appears that one fo the raptors 'killing' claws was imbeded in the tail tendons of another raptor. There were lots of shed teeth so we kow more than the 4 raptors were present. The paper argues that this site is simiar to ora kill sites, as the ora is know to be canibalistic and they explain the site as a single raptor killing the Tenontosaurus and then the others coming in and a sort of feeding frenzy ensued, during which things got out of hand and 4 of the raptors were also killed. We are told from this we can assume that this is how EVERY theropod dinosaur should now be interpreted as acting, single hunter and then a group comes in and they fight over and eat the kill, just like oras. It should be the 'fall back' position. I disagree. While the site is strange an equally plausible postion is a rival group of raptors showed up and a fight ensued. It explains the shed teeth, the claw in the other raptors tail, and the 4 dead animals. Am I sure of this..? No, but it's just as likely. The point is we don't actually know. It's a guess, an educated one but it's still a guess. But to claim that EVERY theropod should be cast as having the same exact behavior is just at odds with ALL other animals. No predators, even closely realted ones, act exactly the same way. Most birds hunt alone, but some hunt in groups. Some live alone, others in groups.
The Ora is a strange animal, it's the heaviest lizard, it lives on a small island (or group of islands) with very limited resources, it's now found to be venomus. It's cold blooded. Not very similar to theropods, who had much greater resources, continents to roam around on. Were most likely warm blooded, and not venomous (that we know of.) To just use the one lizard is just wrong. Other veranids don't behave that way, even ones closely related to the Ora. I fail to see how this should be the fall back position and how this is good science. Good science should say we don't know... We have some evidence for some theropds living together, but it's open to interpretation.
Case in point the Mapusaurs site. 7 individuals of various ages. were found burried together. I was told this shows a predator trap, but in every other predator trap (similar to the Le Brae tar pitts, but no tar) there are more than one speices of predator. In fact we have traps like this in the US, one in Utah with LOTS of Allosaurs, some ceratosaurs, some sauropods, a Torvosaurus... lots of different animals, this is a classic predator trap. But to find 7 individuals with no signs of canibalism.. no other animals... a trap that just caught one specific animal around the same time??? That's the best explination? Not that they were living together and were all killed at the same time via flood or volcanic gas or whatever? I'm even will to say we don't know for sure and will most likely never know, unless the bones were all jumbled together, that would mean they most likely died and decomposed together. But that's all we'll ever know for sure.
I keep being told that we can't use mammals for anything related to dinosaurs. But I just read a very interesting post over on Tetrapod Zoology about the neck posture of sauropods*. It turns out THEY used mammals for their comparison. Wait weren't we not supposed to use them?? And then in another post, Darren mentions another new paper about reptiles and birds playing... and how did they kow they were playing... why they were comapared to mammals of course! So what I'm being told is, it's only ok for SCIENTISTS to compare mammals to dinosaurs, just not some frindge artist who doesn't know any actual science.
I wouldn't have brought this up but the person I was arguing with has felt compelled to mention it on their blogs at least 3 times already, even after the papers comparing mammals to reptiles, birds and dinosaurs. I can't really comment there because it isn't in English and the translators are really bad. So I can't be 100 percent sure of what is being said, so I have to go off what I've gotten in English here.
I am of course, willing to change my mind when and if good evidence is ever found. But for now what's there is less than convincing, even to this frindge artist.
* Disclaimer: This paper used turtles, lizards, crocodilians and birds and mammals for neck postures. I focused on the mammals to prove a point.
I think I might have figured out how to put text above the first image (yeah!) Anyways, I wanted to put up strickly colored stuff here on Carnosauria. But I'm a bit behind work wise and so here are a few scene type drawings of the pencil/line art before coloring. These are both images of the mysterious Megaraptor....
Originally thought to be a large dromeosaur, the claw turned out to actually be from the hand, as an almost complete forearm and hand were found. So that tosses this animal out of the 'raptor' clan (sorry Jurassic Park fans!) But were does it go now? That's the probem. I've seen several papers on it, but it appears to have anatomy similar to 2 lines of theropods. The spinosaurs and the carcharadontosaurs. When I was originally told about the change from foot to hand I was told it was, most likely, a spinosaur by several people inthe feild, it was also mentioned as a possible spinosaur in the Holtz/Rey dinosaur book called, simply enough, Dinosaurs (I completely forgot the name and had to google it, I feel like such a tool;). I liked the head design Rey used on his image so I kind of took that and modified it a bit, kind of a more robust Suchomimus.) But after I posted that image, I was told I was wrong...
I received several comments that a new paper would show that Megaraptor was, in fact, a late surviving carcharadontosaur. I actually read the paper, it still seemed up in the air to me, but not wanting to get even more comments telling me I was wrong I decided to draw it as a carchardontosaur for a book I'm working on (images seen here and some new ones with a few comic like scenes showing possible behaviours...)
I then recieved new comments that I was wrong and that another new paper showing that Megaraptor was related to a new spinosaur from Austrailia would prove it. I read that paper as well.... And to be honest. I have no fricken idea which group this thing belongs to. So until more fossils are found it's an idon'tknowwhatasaurus.
But what to do with the comic page..? I decided to modify it and changed it to a Mapusaurus, easy enough, I used that as the base for the restoration. But since Mapusaurus is older than Megaraptor the Carnotaurs are now fromthe wrong time... So I contacted a few fellow bloggers, Darren Naish and Brian Switek. They had some excellent ideas and Darren mention a few new animals that were comming down the pipeline. I'll post the changed image when I get that drive up and running but I wound up using Skorpiovenator, I just like the name;)
Another of the giant carcharadontosaurs from South America. I believe they have parts of 7 individuals. The most likely explanation is that it lived in some sort of pack. Related to Giganatosaurus, this animal preyed upon the giant sauropod Argentinosaurus.
Once considered a relative to Acrocanthosaurus, it's now thought to be an allosaur. Found in England, it was hanging around in the early Cretaceous with animals like Iguanadon and Baryonyx.
This is the earliest confirmed carcharadontosaur. Eocarcharia, was found in the same area and strata as the last post's Kryptops. Interestingly these theropods also lived along side of Suchomimus. This seems to be the theme for Gondwana in the Cretaceous, 3 giant theropods as the top predators.
Right now this is the oldest known abelisaur. It's possible that this animal had some sort of beak on it's face. It's an interesting idea, I might have to do a drawing of that;)
SO the dinosaurs have been a bit sparse lately. We ran out of room on the computer so we had to dump a bunch fo stuff onto a portable external drive. Unfortunately it take all the USB ports on the laptop so I have to unplug the tablet and I can't use the track pad. We have ordered a new USB hub thing but until we get it all the drawn dinosaurs are locked away on another drive.
I need to do a few new dinosaurs. So maybe I'll get some new ones scanned before I get the new hub;)
Aerosteon, it appears to be a later surviving Allosaur, or something very closely related. It had a respiratory system similar to modern birds.
I've been drawing dinosaurs semi seriously for around 9 years now. I remember when artists like Todd Marshal and Luis Rey were just starting to get popular. I remember picking up the paperback version of Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (I just picked another hard cover of that one. That make 3 that I've bought over the years) while on a trip to Hawaii. I was amazed at what it had in it. Jurassic park had just come out and it had been about 8 years since I'd last really read bout dinosaurs.
The art in that book fascinated me. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Dynamic agile animals, feathered raptors. It was amazing. To this day Gregory S. Paul is a favorite artist of mine.
So what is this post about? Well it's been a few years since I started to try my hand at drawing dinosaurs, an the one thing I still see, is the influence of Gregory S. Paul. This is of course fine and dandy, I'm a big fan, his work is a great influence of mine. But most the artists who are so greatly influenced by him, and there are a lot, don't seem to try and develop their own style. They seem to have come to an approximation of Paul's and that's it, nothing new, no other influences. And while it's always great to see his art, the market has been flooded with clones. Now I'm guilty of this to a certain extant myself. I had a favorite comic artist that I aped, it's how I got hired originally. BUT after the initial honeymoon phase, I did try to branch out and develop my own style (I've heard it called the 'Brett Booth Beauty Academy'. Which I find endlessly amusing;)) I think I've made the transition to my own 'look'.
So what I'm trying to say is that IF you are a Paul clone, why not try and experiment with some other styles, I'm not trying to get people to draw like me, I already have those in the anthro world and some even in the comic world. But my hope would be to help expand the artistic styles of some of the artist that I see with a lot of promise to break out and become the next Gregory S. Paul. Oh, and for goodness sake PLEASE take a few basic art classes (I know a lot of the artists are self taught.) It will help with perspective and some basic design work, help create some depth in the pictures.
Of course some of you will say who the hell is this guy? He's not a professional paleoartist! True, but how many books with your name on it do you have on Amazon? I've draw thousands of illustrations for comics and the like, I've critiqued countless would be artists online and at shows. I have a degree in commercial art. I've been drawing comics for over 16 years. I'd have to have at least SOME design sense after all that (I'm not trying to toot my own horn just prove a point.) So why not take of the advice of another artist, try to expand on a good base and take your art to the next level.
One new and the other old. A late cretaceous abelisaur from South America. There are actually skin impressions of the this animal so we have a good idea of what it actually looked like. Well, except for the color;)
This animal reached a length of 30 feet, and had one of the strangest heads on any theropod so far discovered. But the strangest thing would be the 4 fingered hands. Only 2 of which had claws. The fore arm bones have been greatly reduced to be virtully non existant.
Deltadromeus is now thought to be a noasaur, off the abelisaur family tree. From Africa, it's another really big theropod around 40 feet. But this one is differnent, it's very gracile, built for running. The head is based off of the other known noasaur species and might be incorrect, it's a best guess at this point.
Being an ableisaur it's strange in that it has long arms and is larger than any of it's other known relatives. I beleive Carnotaurus would be the second largest at around 25+ feet. So this animal was a giant for the group. It's theropod contemporraries include Carcharadontosaurus and Spinosaurus, also giants, so there seems to be a trend of giant theropods in mid cretaceous Africa. There are a few other large theropod remains fond at the sime time and same area but they are too scrappy to make good identifications. So perhaps there is a fourth group of large theropods running around Africa that we don't really know about;)
A medium sized abelisaur from the late cretaceous of South America. Very similar to Carnotaurus but with no 'horns'. Around 13-15 feet long, and found at the bottom of an ancient lake. Some skin impressions were found around the pelvis area, but I can't find any pictures on it online (I did find a picture of dinosaur skin, but no named along with it.)
I'm not quite sure what to do with this guy. I drew it when some late Cretaceous carcharadontosaur teeth were found in South America. But another study claims they might in fact be abelisaur teeth that mimic carcharadontosaurs... Sooo, this might be entirely wrong, but it was based on only a few teeth so it wouldn't be that accurate to begin with, just me having some fun;)
Known from only 3 vertebrae, the rest of this restoration are purely conjecture. Found in England from rocks dating to the early Cretaceous. It's though to be related to either the sinraptors or Acrocanthosaurus. I drew it more like Acro due to the elongated nature of the 3 vertebrae.
I've been having problems with Blogger not telling me things are spelled wrong and even keeping them wrong AFTER I have corrected them. My spelling is horrible to begin with so you might not notice;)
The ever popular Spinosaurus. Originally found in the desert near Egypt (mid Cretaceous rocks) at the beginning of the 20th century, all the original material was lost during the bombing of Germany during WWII. We are lucky to have drawing of the material so all was not lost! The original material which consisted of the front part of the lower jaw, a few neck vertebrae, a few tail vertebrae, and most of the back vertebrae with the elongated neural spines. The original restoration was of a giant allosaur with a sail, like this drawing. The exact size of is hard to pinpoint. The original material appears to not have been fully grown. Sizes from 50 to 65 feet have been offered, but we'll have little to no idea until a new skeleton is found.
For a long time that was the restoration, until the 80's, when Baryonyx was found. It was quickly discovered that the 2 species were very similar, that gave us our first decent peek at what a spinosaur looked like. In this restoration I bulked up the skull a bit, the lower ends shortly after the tip, but the back of the jaw bone looks very robust. So I toyed with the idea that Spinosaurus was sort of returning to a more predatory dinosaur, Baryonyx was considered a fish eater (even though iguanadon bones were found in it's stomach contents, along with fish scales) so the skull was more delicate. In 2003 it was suggested that Spinosaurus was actually a chimera (made up of more than on animal) since it was found in a bone bed with other animals. The jaw belonging to a spinosaur, the neck to a relative of Acrocanthosaurus. The back to a sauropod (all of the three major dinosaur branches produced a 'fin' back.) I actually like the idea (I suggested a hadrosaur for the backbone since the older adults bones seem to mimic theropods, something I didn't know until I saw Valley of the T. rex with Jack Horner. But a sauropod would explain the great size) I liked the idea of a chimera, the sail would be a great hindrance to an active predator. But science changes and moves on...
It was reported that a new skull was found earlier this decade, something that would have been around 8 feet long. Now there was/is a possible relative of Spinosaurus, or in this case a subspecies, also found in Africa, this was dubbed Spinosaurus marocannus. Only the front part of the upper jaw was found, it was very delicate. But this new skull, seemed to link the 2 species/subspecies together, the new skulls teeth matched the original lower jaws teeth so it appears that the more robust skull I drew was wrong, so this drawing was done.
This is the most recent drawing, based on all the info I could find online. It looks like Spinosaurus is actually closely related to the South American spinosaur Irritator. At first Irritator was thought to be a pterosaur (it's skull is really strange even for a spinosaur,) but the new skull material for Spinosaurs matches it rather closely, even similar in tooth count.
What appears to be emerging is a very different animal than originally described. Long and lean, the nostril s far back on the skull, the neck designed for a more heron like attack. It appears to be a giant fish eater, perhaps it was forced to the water as it's great length wouldn't protect it from the other giant theropods that shared it's environment? (Carcharadontosaurus, Deltadromeus and possibly a few others, the remains are too scrappy.)
But what of the sail? It's been theorized that it was for fat storage, but the spines are very thin, I doubt they could have supported much weight. Possibly for cooling? Other theropods with similar size didn't have one, but maybe it helped when fishing in the afternoon, it does get hot inthe sun. I've also heard it was used as an actual sail for swimming... We know theropods could swim, we have 'foot' prints, really just nail prints;) But none of the other spinosaurs with associated skeletons show aquatic adaptions.. So I had an idea. It might be wrong, but what about a shade for hunting in the sun? Something to keep the glare of the sun off the water so it can see the fish below? Or maybe a combination of these? That's the most plausible scenario seeing as most parts of the body preform several functions.
A large early carcharadontosaur from South America. Not much is known about this animal yet. It's clearly large, around 40 feet, and the arms are very small (thus the name.)
Even though only a small amount of the animal is known, it's enough to give you a basic idea of what it looked like. Besides the small arms, it is also known to have a deep tail, so it's assumed that swimming would have been possible. Of course with all those horrors of the deep swimming around I don't think theropods would have ventured far into the water;)
A quick shot of a sub adult Albertosaurus attacking a Struthiomimus, both from Canada. Albertosaurus grew to around 30 feet and Struthiomimus got to around 15 feet. Paleontologists are still not sure what the orstich mimic dinosaurs ate, everything from filter feeders to omnivors have been proposed.
So this is an older shot of Suchomimus. As you can see I don't really like drawing backgrounds, since I don't actually get paid for doing these drawings, I tend to just concentrate on the animal.
Found in Africa, this animal is considered a close relative of Baryonyx (the first good specimen of a spinosaur found.) The skeleton that was found was of a sub adult and it was 36 feet long, so this animal might have gotten to the 40+ foot size range. There are teeth from this line of spinosaurs (Spinosaurus and Irritator are on a second branch, they have less teeth and a more pterosaur like head) from Europe, weather this is a third species is unknown right now.
Brett is a comic book artist currently working on nothing he can mention, damn it! He also draws dinosaurs! He likes to talk about science and evolution if you don't want to here about that stuff, tuff cookies;)
If you would like to use my images on your web site, please e-mail me. (brettbooth at gmail dot com) I usually grant permission for non-commercial uses but I do require that you provide a link back to me. If you are a scientist, or represent a museum or educational institution, one time print use of dinosaur images is very low cost and sometimes free, please inquire.
I am happy to draw original paleo artwork for papers, articles and the like. I'm happy to do these for very reasonable fee's and in some cases I'll even wave that. So feel free to ask.
I will no longer doing comic/anthro character commissions. See other blog.