STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 September 2016

Jobaria Drawn

A lot of illustrations of Jobaria are typical for sauropods; a giant lumbering dinosaur holding its head high at the end of its long neck with its tail held out behind it. This illustrated posture is not lazy or pointless, in fact, seeing dinosaurs in what would be their most typical daily posture paints a more vivid look of what the daily life a dinosaur would be like. The images we see of fierce battles and dinosaurs in action also belong as parts of the complex lives that the animals lived, but Jobaria, for example, was not constantly hunted and probably did not have to rear up onto its hindlimbs every second of every day in order to grab food items. These action shots of life, like that portrayed by James Kuether, are exciting and integral to understanding how that rearing up action would be carried out by an adult Jobaria. That action is clearly something powerful and intimidating as it would allow this 220 plus tonne dinosaur to make itself taller than its predators and enable it to use its weight as a weapon. This was probably important given that its tail was somewhat short an unable to whip around as effectively as a dinosaur like Diplodocus. Mass can be an effective weapon though, and worth fearing for the small Afrovenator portrayed in Kuetcher's illustration.
©Nobu Tamura

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