STL Science Center

STL Science Center

01 June 2016

Little Arms or Little Wings

I stumbled on Croatian artist Damir G. Martin's depiction of a rather unique Carnotaurus pair. Nowhere that I have seen has the interpretation of the small arms of Carnotaurus included wings and, with the rather well known skin impressions showing scales, feathers have not often (maybe not at all) been discussed in relation to Carnotaurus. The inclusion of feathers, small wings originating from the shortened forelimbs, and the small crest on one individual is interesting as well as novel. These theropods are not running and sprinting quickly, as one paper that we read yesterday asserted, else the feathers would be a bit more ruffled. In this image the feathering appears almost fluffy and certainly very fitting the way these Carnotaurus individuals are standing here.

The wing structures are very avian in this image. However, there are no correlated structures on the fossils like quill knobs on the ulnae. There are also no feather impressions near the arms in the fossils; there are none along the body either of course. The same lack of evidence can be stated for the head structure shown here. A structure like this could also be used, in the illustration, to assume the sex of this individual. After seeing this imagination of Carnotaurus it is almost unfortunate that we have not seen feather evidence in Carnotaurus; it looks like a very fitting (almost turkey-like) rendition of the dinosaur.

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