STL Science Center

STL Science Center

04 May 2013

To Elephant Feet Or Not

©Nobu Tamura
"Elephant feet" is a common complaint of the scientific community. That my be why this illustration has slowly been phased out and replaced by Nobu Tamura's other image of Albertaceratops. Elephant feet aside, Albertaceratops was a fairly typical ceratopsian. The post cranial elements that have been unearthed, and thankfully some have, attest to the "vanilla" body plan of ceratopsians. Business, intimidation, and strange beauty in the front; cow/rhino/elephant body in the back. Albertaceratops, though, has a very interesting position still as a fairly basal centrosaur; not as basal as the initial interpretation given that other skulls and studies on the family have been done since it was first described. The skull really does point at those basal characters while retaining the centrosaur chracters as well.

© Andrey Atuchin
Sometimes the characters that stand out, such as the supraorbital horns, stick out like crazy, however. Really, with this illustration it is just the angle at which the skull is aligned, but this angle gives a very nice look at the curvature of those horns and just how big they really are compared to the overall size of the skull. This is something that is difficult to see in some other head on and even lateral views of the animal, so it is very nice to have that new angle from which to view the dinosaur. I think one of the best aspects of this illustration is that the eyes have all but disappeared in the shadow of the horns, which appears to accent the truly "eyebrow" nature of their position on the skull.

No comments:

Post a Comment