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STL Science Center
17 December 2011
Eustreptospondylus is a typical Megalosaurid theropod. Two arms, two legs, big teeth, long fairly stable tail, tridactyl toes and fingers. The major differences we see in illustrations of this dinosaur come in the neck, hands, and face. The Walking with Dinosaurs model from the episode Cruel Sea is a fairly typical and accurate animal. The muzzle of the dinosaur is meaty, we cannot see the outlines of the bones or the fenestra that line the skull too heavily, only near the front fairly far forward on the muzzle. The hands and feet are tridactyl with the hands facing inward toward one another. The tail hangs out and up, flexible, but not too flexible, securely counterbalancing the animal as it walks. Eustreptospondylus' teeth are medium sized, not enormous and by no means tiny either. They recurve toward the rear of the mouth as do most predators' teeth and they have some serration to them to aide in slicing meat off of the bodies they take down. While not an enormous predator, in its environment it was the biggest scariest island predator of its day. The dwarfed island denizens would agree wholeheartedly with this I am sure.
This illustration is not too bad. I don't know who did it and I can't find a name, so if anyone does please let me know. The only problem I have with it is the starved look it has. The neck looks twice as long as any other neck I've seen drawn myself and that is mostly because it has almost no meat on it. The same can be said about the muzzle. The fenestra are deeply pronounced on this illustration in part because of the very lean, not too well fed appearance of the dinosaur as a whole. It could be that the artist just pictured it as a lean and fast animal, but as a large apex predator in its domain I expect more muscle and meat on it from head to toe, myself. Additionally, the tail looks stunted and on that one, I cannot really tell why I think it looks stunted. It just seems awfully short.
This last illustration is a lot like a healthy compromise between the two previous illustrations. The deep fenestra punctuation still exists in the face. It is so deep, in fact, that the eye could not possibly see in any other direction than straight out from the skull at a 90 degree angle. I find that quite unbelievable honestly. That would leave the dinosaur at a terrible disadvantage when hunting as it would likely run directly into trees and whatever else lay directly ahead of its path. The arms and legs as well as the tail look great and the neck is meaty and muscled, the way I like my apex predator necks. Really, the only issue I see is that unfortunate eye structuring. It is my opinion that if the eye were that sunken in the pit of a fenestration that the eye would be almost useless to the animal in anything other than a scavenging role. Personally, I find it difficult to imagine processing a non-binocular field of vision anyway myself.