STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 December 2016

Lizard of Yunnan

Yunnanosaurus is a special prosauropod. Facultatively bipedal and sporting sixty spoon shaped teeth, this was a dinosaur well adapted for its world and solidly laying the evolutionary body frame for the giants that would be its descendants (some speculation included here). One of the strangest things about the animal is the almost absolute lack of quality illustrations. Many, even most, of the illustrations of this dinosaur are the textbook quality pre-1980's style drawings, such as the one below. This is interesting and confusing because there is indeed a wealth of fossil information about the morphology of this dinosaur. If anyone wants to contribute a better drawing or knows of one I think we would all benefit greatly. It is, however, fun to note the antiquated dinosaur art that is out there. This version of Yunnanosaurus has frog-like thighs and a snake-like tongue that make it more ridiculous than accurate while at the same time underlying the problem that Yunnnosaurus, despite its popularity, suffers from: namely a lack of illustrations and interpretative materials.

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