STL Science Center

STL Science Center

12 November 2011

Photos of Mom

Maiasaura have a ton of illustrations that show them being a mother. Someone said they were good mothers and suddenly every artist in the world had to show a dinosaur and its babies. That's all well and good, but we are not going to focus on the mothering aspect of this dinosaur all day long. So, to get the mothering illustrations out of our systems, here's a few to gander at:
©Keiji Terakoshi

©Nobu Tamura
Please don't misunderstand, the aspect of child rearing in these dinosaurs is one of the most important finds in paleontology in years. However, I want to look more at the dinosaur itself today. It looks like such an inconspicuous and even an almost boring animal; like a large dinosaurian cow. One such picture of this animal looking nice and docile is in the portrayal here by Nobu Tamura. The juvenile beside the adult in this illustration is just as cow like in its appearance and, the thing is, is that this is the normal way a plain hadrosaur like maiasaura would have looked. They were very plain herd animals with little to no ability to defend themselves from predators other than with their size and numbers.

©Todd Marshall
There isn't anything wrong with it, I just find it humorous. The maiasaura could certainly have gotten an attitude though. Everyone gets angry, including docile dinosaurs. They just get a few tons of angry and storm and screech very loudly, like Todd Marshall's Maiasaura here. I've always liked Marshall's dinosaurs and I like this one because you can sense the alarm and almost imagine the honk and scream of warning that this individual is certainly roaring out to the rest of the herd. The only thing I thought looked really odd or funny or something when I first saw this was that the back foot of this dinosaur is absolutely enormous compared to the front feet and even the rest of the body. I think it may be perspective, but I also think that maybe this foot is just not proportional to the animal, and that does happen.

©Tuomas Koivurinne
The final illustration I want to look at today is a painting. Acrylics to be exact. The dinosaur is very exactly, precisely, and wonderfully rendered here in both the foreground and the background and the markings on it are fantastically simple, just like the animal, which is exactly the way I would imagine it. The detail that really makes me smile in this painting, however, is the addition of the birds. Just like a water buffalo or a rhino in our current day and age, this Maiasaura has become the roosting spot for a pair of small birds which are quite advanced actually. I think today is just a day to sit back and relax and watch the Cretaceous cows interact with the Cretaceous birds...

Apparently I forgot to hit post yesterday...

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