Dinosaurs and Barbarians

Troodon drawing

This is a drawing that I made for Prehistoric Times magazine last year. It shows Troodon formosus, a six-foot carnivorous theropod dinosaur which lived in western North America during the late Cretaceous Period. Troodon was one of the “raptor” dinosaurs, more properly known scientifically as Deinonychosauria, named after one of its most famous members Deinonychus. The raptors are divided into two groups: the dromaeosaurids and the troodontids. The dromaeosaurids (including Deinonychus, Velociraptor, and Utahraptor) were generally stockier and more muscular with shorter legs, while the troodontids were lean with long legs and were obviously good runners. As you can see, this creature has feathers. Many raptor fossils show evidence of feathers, either actual preserved feather impressions, or marks or structures on the bones which suggest the presence of feathers. For many years (certainly ever since I was a child)Troodon has also held the title…

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Etta, voiced by Reba McEntire, is a character who appears in The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave. She is a Pteranodon, or “Flyer”, and befriends Littlefoot and his friends. She first appears after a “sand cloud” forces Littlefoot into a cave, and the mouth of the cave is blocked by sand, and later rocks. To cheer up the downtrodden Longneck, Etta tells Littlefoot to ‘look for the light’; look for the positive in a negative situation. After a song number, she and Littlefoot hear sound from above the cave, coming from a skirmish between the rest of the Prehistoric Pals and a hostile Sharptooth. The dinosaurs (and pterosaurs) ride a river and use a waterfall to exit the cave opening, and make their way to the Fire Mountain; the location of Littlefoot’s imperiled father, Bron.

Darwinopterus redux

Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings

So after the comments both on here and over at Luis’ new blog, Luis has sorted out the trimmed branches problem with a new tree trunk. The result is above.

As a ‘bonus’ here’s my original sketch of the critter that I sent to Luis. I’m no artist and it was done quickly, but hopefully conveyed the essence of what I had in my mind. The psychedelic colours were not a guide for Luis, but to try and make it clear which parts of which wing membranes went where – if just black and white, it was rather a mess and things were a bit confused.

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A very Brazilian pterosaur

Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings

Back in 2010, the boys and girls descended on Beijing for the Flugsaurier meeting. A good time was had by all (well, as far as I could tell) and while pterosaur researchers generally get together to argue, one of the things that was sorted out was that the next meeting would be in Brazil in 2013.

The conference fieldtrip in China included many a long drive in a minibus to get between the various localities and museum in Liaoning. On one of these journeys I had (what I thought) was a great idea for Brazil and John Conway was unfortunate enough to be sat next to me and feel the full force of Dave explaining his new concept. However, fortunately for me, John loved it and went with it. We pitched it as a possible logo for the conference and while they have picked their own (which is lovely)…

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Meeting the Titanosaur


It be big The titanosaur doesn’t photograph well. It must be experienced. Photo by the author.

On January 15, the American Museum of Natural History unveiled the first new fossil mount to be added to their paleontology halls in 20 years. It is the reconstructed skeleton of an as-yet-unnamed titanosaur, an immense sauropod dinosaur that lived in Argentina during the mid-Cretaceous. The titanosaur is probably the most hyped-up fossil mount since Sue, at least in the United States (Sophie the Stegosaurus in the U.K. and Tristan the Tyrannosaurus in Germany received similar attention). This merits some discussion. The AMNH public relations staff pulled no punches in selling the titanosaur as a must-see exhibit. Huge advertisements appeared on buses and buildings around New York, including in Times Square. The legendary David Attenborough hosted a television special on the discovery of the fossils. Countless local and national news outlets were invited to the titanosaur’s unveiling earlier…

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