Some animals have overbites. it’s fairly common enough that animals (and humans) are born where the upper and lower dentition do not precisely match. Sometimes this alignment can be severe and affects diet. Other times, it is hardly noticeable. But a good number of animals have natural overbites, such that the upper jaw is always longer than the lower, and in some animals this disparity can be extreme. In these animals, the rostrum is much elongated relative to the mandible, and in many cases bears teeth that do not enmesh or engage at all with those of the mandible. Some dinosaurs have overbites, and it is a question worth asking about whether some of these overbites are natural or not. It helps to look at other animals with overbites to consider the variation. Continue reading
Posted in Art, Paleobiology, Paleontology, Reconstruction
Tagged Billfish, Chas Knight Was a Genius, Chinchilla, Chinchilla lanigera, Eurhinosaurus, Facial Reconstruction, Ichthyodectiforms, Ichthyosaurs, Integument, Overbites, Paleopleurosaurus poseidoniae, Proterosuchids, Proterosuchus fergusi, Restoration and Reconstruction, Rodents, Saurodontids, tyrannosaurs
Sometimes I’m a bit lazy in my stippling of skulls, and try to be loose about details, and this is generally true when the target is pretty tiny. In the case of my cookiecutter shark stipple (if you can find it in the banner above — or, if you’re lazy, just try here) I wanted to convey only a small amount of detail because, wel … the material isn’t really bone, and doesn’t hold a lot of detail itself being mostly cartilage. Incidentally, this is also why I haven’t gotten around to finishing details on a hagfish “skull,” either, or I’d actually have more than one fish to my repertoire. Continue reading
The small pterosaur[n1] Rhamphorhynchus is known from a large host of specimens from the Late Jurassic of central to western Europe, mostly Germany and surrounding countries. It is known from complete specimens, to well-preserved partial, to utter crap. It is known from squished, 2D preserved specimens, and from 3D preserved fully prepared ones. Once, it was known from a large host of species, but numerous studies in the the mid-1990s indicate that most of these are probably a single species, merely ontogenetically different. There’s some quibbling that can be had about the ontogeny, as the jaw in Rhamphorhynchus spp. varies considerably, but we’ll get around to that some time later. Continue reading
So this past year, now as freshly 2014 (by my calendar) as it can be, lends me the ability to measure the productivity of the blog, and I must say, some things are surprising, and some are not. Continue reading
It’s the end of the [Western] year, and the holiday season is underway. With this, I will leave the year off unless something comes up with my version of a reconstruction of Edmonotosaurus regalis (actually, Edmontosaurus annectens) rendered via a new specimen suggesting a fleshy “cocks’-comb” surmounted the head. Rather than provide this as an isolated comb-like thing, as the authors did not justify why the margins of the structure are intact, or take into account that the lateral margins of the stucture are flush with the sides of the skull, but reconstruct it as being inset and median, I’ve chosen an alternate take. So I leave you with a final illustration for the year:
Just a summary, without much in the way of commentary, until I have a chance to more thoroughly engage these papers:
1. The Beak Bites Back
Stress and strain relative to the edentulous, beak-less model, a partial beak, a larger beak, and a toothed model of Erlikosaurus andrewsi’s skull. From Lautenschlager et al. (2013).
What happens when you shrink-wrap a dinosaur? Well, first, you get something like the famous Ely Kish hadrosaurs:
Ely Kish’s Maiasaura peeblesorum, from Dale Russell’s Odyssey in Time: The Dinosaurs of North America, and reproduced here from a scan from Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.
But of late, some degree of scientific accuracy has forced paleontological reconstruction to get a little more … realistic. We now tend to use living animals as more comparable biological comparisons than merely making base assumptions of anatomy, slapping skin on it, then calling it good. John Sibbick’s work, well featured in David Norman’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs — which also featured a lovely rendition of the ol’ “twig and berried” Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus — demonstrates the lengths we go to to speculate, find realism, and still fall short. We’re still not there, even with the incredible and wonderfully bird-centric art of Matt Martynuick and Emily Willoughby. Continue reading