Sunday, May 24, 2009

Megaraptor idon'tknowwhatasaurus

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;)




  1. Megaraptor is a very complex enigma, because is both fragmentary and apparently "chimaeric". You are very right in avoiding a closer phyletic position of that animal before new data are known.

    My large-scale analysis of theropods places it in Spinosauroidea, while the carcharodontosauris hypothesis, although plausible, results less robust. But, I too would like to know new data before saying: "Megaraptor is a XXXXX!"

  2. Hi Andrea,

    Just based off the arm I would tend torward spinosaurs. But waiting is the best idea right now.

    I started reading that paper you sent. So far I'm not convinced but I've just started, hopefully I'll be able to read it tomorrow morning:)

    Thanks again!