Zegh's Dinosaur Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by zegh8578, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    What's the use? It's only gonna sink down into the previous pages anyway. But, here goes! An attempt at a dinosaur thread! As well as an oportunity to shamelessly post my dinosaur art!

    My first time really illustrating a hypothesis of my own. If it allready exists, I haven't seen it yet. Then again, speculation is never as widespread as one might think, as it is often delegated to Animal Planet and such, and not real science.
    My speculation is based on the observation that South American dinosaur fauna was long dominated by an obscene ammount of so-called Titanosaur sauropods. Titanosaurs were, as the name suggests, titanic in size, but also a hugely varied group, so, it included sauropods of ALL sizes, even "mere" elephant sizes. They were plentiful, lived in huge flocks, and counted lots of individuals per species. All of them grew untill they died, and would eat tons of vegetation every day. This resulted in the trees having to grow in "waves", as the sauropods would completely devastate one end of the continent, and wander to the next, trees would have time to grow really fast - and really tall. To this day, the trees typical for that time - pines - are still extremely tall. Their "escape-the-sauropods"-genes are still active.
    Together with the titanosaurs, lived so called Abelisaurs. They have weird anatomies, compared to typical theropods. Abelisaurus itself is only known from a head, and above I based the body on related Aucasaurus. Better known is Carnotaurus, which appeared in Disney's "Dinosaur", although with a much more "normalized" proportion. In reality, they had short stocky heads, elongated muscular necks, almost no arms, and long, powerfull hind limbs. All in all unusual.
    Then I imagined - it is perfect for sprinting a large body into a flock of sauropods, nabbing a sauropod youngling by the neck, and taking off with it.

    A megalosaurid, as in, a generic member of the Megalosauridae. Similar situation, except northern hemisphere. Megalosaurids, in my humble opinion, were sauropod-carcass-specialists. They have longer heads than most theropods, possibly for digging into sauropod carcasses littering the landscape. Closely related to megalosaurids are the better known Spinosaurids, such as Spinosaurus and Baryonyx. These had exceptionally long, slender skulls, and seemed specialized for fishing. Spinosaurus has been poorly known for the past nearly-a-century, with its only remains bombed to shit during WW2 (stored in Berlin), but a recent find shows that it had surprisingly stubby hind legs, making it a swimmer, rather than a runner. The megalosaurid above, could very well be an ancestral form to these weird swim-o-saurs.

    Primitive sauropods of India. Or, since "primitive" sounds so wrong - the scientific community prefers "basal". Basal sauropods of India - the large one is Barapasaurus, and the small one Kotasaurus. Sauropods originated as very close relatives to the theropods. Basically, small theropods would dabble in omnivory from the very start of the dinosaur era, the middle Triassic, and allready, some were developing large bellies, for the feeding of nutrient-poor vegetation (compared to energy-rich meat, requiring small bellies)
    Once this had begun, development was very rapid, and early sauropods excelled simply by eating all the untapped vegetation, and growing immense. By early Jurassic, they were allready the size of elephants, and while Kotasaurus still retained the elongated shape of a bipedal animal adapting to quadrupedal lifestyle, Barapasaurus was fully quadrupedal, with pillar-like legs, capable of carrying enormous weight. Barapasaurus was a giant of its time, some 20 metres from snout to tip of tail, but would be counted as "small-medium" compared to Sauropods that were to come. On India a thigh bone of the super-obscure Bruhathkayosaurus suggest an animal of 35-40 metres. Of similar, or even larger dimensions was the legendary, yet equally fragmentary Amphicoelias of USA, which could have reached 40-50 metres in length.
    It is - however - perfectly possible that Amphicoelias (as well as Supersaurus) are just very mature individuals of Diplodocus, since - like I said before - these animals never stopped growing. Baffling differences in size are no indication of distinct species, something the scientific community is only recently beginning to realize.

    A "hypsilophodontid", or, if you ever read Jurassic Park - a "hypsie". In older classification, "hypsilophodontids" were considered a monophyletic group - as in - a branch of a dinosaur family, with a lot of similar dinosaurs in it. It is now understood to be paraphyletic, meaning, a series of little branches, leading on to something different - in this case, "hypsies" were small, varied intermediaries between primitive ornithopods - and advanced duck-billed dinosaurs and iguanodontids.
    This in particular is a rather large one, being roughly pony-sized, and apart from being adept at running skittishly away from danger, it is possible that it used its strong stubby arms to dig for roots. Smaller species would dig as well, in order to burrow tunnels, that have indeed been found in fossil form.

    Speaking of iguanodontids, this is a Muttaburrasaurus. You can tell by the name, that it's Strawlian. It's from deoun unda! For all we know, it used that inflatable nose, to play some real didgeridoo tunes. A close relative of Iguanodon itself, it aaalmost had a thumb-spike, well, more just a lil thumb with a pointy claw on it. It had the ability to get up on two legs to hurry, while drop back on all fours to chill and eat plants. Coloration is inspired by some antilope, and judging by the two only dinosaurs where any kind of color impression has been preserved (small, feathered theropods), the overall patterns are unsurprising. Stripy tails (they "break up" contours), as well as dark back, white belly, which break up shadows. These color patterns seem widespread in the entire animal kingdom, and would be typical among dinosaurs too.
    Excuse the weird tree.

    Not Tyrannosaurus eating, while not Tyrannosaurus comes stalking to harass and steal the food. Tyrannosaurus existed there and then - he was just busy stalking someone else. This is Albertosaurus - a small slender tyrannosaurid. Well, small by tyrannosaurid standards, "only" 7-9 metres in length. The stalker is a Daspletosaurus, "only" 10-11 metres, but robustly built, like a slightly smaller Tyrannosaurus, and a very close relative. I'm not "trying to say" that Tyrannosaurus was a scavenger here. If anything, I'm accusing poor Daspletosaurus of being a scavenger. What I am saying is that large predators don't give a fuck about our expectations of them, and will harass and bite and eat anything. If that Albertosaurus didn't fuck off, it would eat it too. I am also saying that horns and frills don't do shit, Chasmosaurus, laying dead on the ground. Deep bite-marks are found in the faces of horned ceratopsids, such as Triceratops, which was twice the size of Chasmosaurus. Most likely, horns and frills were for something as dull as sexual selection and mating rituals, while having a limited effect as a deterence against smaller predators. A grumpy Tyrannosaurus would simply not give a hoot.

    Tyrannosaurus head profile, fully mature female, and juvenile, to scale. Undetailed, unfinished.

    Oviraptor means "egg-thief", and was named so because the first oviraptorosaurid was found on top of a pile of eggs believed to belong to a Protoceratops, a pig-like, pig-sized, horn-less ceratopsid. Nearly a century later, identical eggs were found, with a brooding oviraptorid on top, and small oviraptorid embryos inside. Turned out, it never "stole eggs", but sacrificed its life to defend the eggs, even in the face of a sand-storm. Two adult skeletons have been dubbed "Romeo and Juliet", as they were found grasping each others hands, buried for eternity in the deadly sand. Oviraptorids were very diverse, and most of them had weird, rounded heads, often with strange crests, that might be sexual dimorphism at work. The only indication of diet, once the eggs are ruled out, was the small newborn "raptor" in one of their nests, an indication of couples feeding each others while brooding. The romance never ends with these guys!
    Depicted above is an oviraptorid digging a nest.

    A crested and/or male oviraptorid. Exact genus or species is unknown. A big problem with many exotic and particularily interesting dinosaurs is that they will be "poached", and sold on the black market, to very high bidders. Nicholas motherfucking Cage has illegally purchased exotic dinosaur fossils, that he is denying the scientific community to enjoy. That piece of shit!
    This head is based on a privately owned skull, that nobody is allowed to research.

    An Incisivosaurus(head) or Protarchaeopteryx(body), very likely one and the same animal, and a forefather to the above oviraptorids. Like many of the bird-like dinosaurs, they seem to evolve from very small - even more birdlike dinos, as a kind of "LOL!" from nature.
    Evolution went sort of like this:
    Dinosaurs->Tiny birdlike dinos->Back to bigger birdy dinos + small true birds.
    Velociraptor itself likely evolved from small dino-birds that could even have been capable of flight, for then to lose it, going back to running on the ground.
    It's not too strange though, once you think about flight-less birds today, such as the ostrich.

    More recent re-depiction of a typical oviraptorid, with more fluffy body, and totally revamped wing-ideas. Why leave the "flight feathers" in animals who havent flown in millions of years - or ever? Elbow-wings make for good communicative flapping.
    Elbow-wings also on Velociraptor. Note, this is purely speculative, but makes for good "different-ness", which should be expected with extinct animals that we tend to have very traditionalized images of.

    Feel free to ask random-ass questions about dinosaurs, such as who would win in a fight (GROAAAN) and which one was THE BIGGEST (groaaaaaaaaaaaaaan)
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  2. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dogmeat

    Nov 22, 2009
    Very nice, very precise. My kind of art, and an interesting subject matter. Modern art leaves me guessing but this I appreciate immediately.

    Not much of a dino-head myself, I'm still sort of trying to get my head around the fact that those huge...reptilian things once walked about on earth in great numbers. And specifically the movement, like how fast were they etc. I look at an ostrich running and imagine a much much larger reptilian ostrich barreling along on a field somewhere or emerging suddenly from thick jungle. Scary thought.

    The herbivores I kind of understand, they have those elephant legs and it makes sense I guess. Still, that reptilian things would grow to that size that the biggest of them are, and they seem to be finding bigger species and individuals, is just...weird. And amazing.
  3. MojaveMoproblems

    MojaveMoproblems It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 5, 2016
    Damnit Zegh, everybody knows Dinosaurs don't exist

    they are just a government conspiracy to ruin my good christian america

    obvious sarcasm is obvious?
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  4. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Dem son, those are some fine illustrations.
    I request you do an illustration of Stegosaurus for me, sign it and mail it to my address so that I can frame it.

    P.S. What do you think of Schleich dinosaurs figures in terms of anatomical correctness?
  5. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    Like so many kids I loved dinosaurs back in the day. I had one magazine that focused on Deinonychus. What a scary beast.

    But then science came and had to ruin everything:
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  6. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dogmeat

    Nov 22, 2009
    Feathers are like dinosaurus swag. Pimp outfit.
  7. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    When did the consensus that dinosaurs had feathers came to be?
    IIRC 10 years ago most of the dino illustrations featured them in their "lizard form", and the whole thing about feathers was not such an all-encompassing theory and was applied only to small bird-like dinos.

    Then again, my memory is a traitorous whore and I may be deeply wrong.
  8. Kohno

    Kohno Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 30, 2009

    But seriously, the more we learn, the better. The illustrations often suck due to the animals being made to look like fucking pigeons (for what ever reason), but there are pretty neat ones there too (obviously I can't find any right now...).

    And hey, we still have the prehistoric marine life. No fucking way there's going to be feathers there.

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  9. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Integument is very unlikely to fossilize in general, so only "one in a thousand" will preserve it. This leaves the vast majority of skeletons, well, just skeletal. As time progresses, more and more will appear with feathers, simply because the ammount increases.
    There is then something called "phylogenetic bracketing", this means - if an ancestor has a trait, and especially two species coming from the same ancestor, while having evolved "a distance" between each others, it becomes highly likely all the "in between" forms will share that trait - and integument is a part of that.

    Note that I say "integument"
    Most dinosaurs did NOT have "feathers" like todays birds. Bird-feathers are highly advanced. Most dinosaurs DID however have "integument", a body-covering insulator, we can call it what we want, cus it will match none of it 100%: Feather, fur, fuzz,

    Feather from a coelurosaurid. Feather-like, but it does not form the perfect "leaf" of a modern bird. You can imagine this evolving from scales.

    According to fossil record, hard evidence, following dinosaurs most certainly had a furry body covering:
    Many early coelurosaurs
    Velociraptor itself
    Primitive dromaeosaurs
    Primitive oviraptorids
    Psittacosaurus (a primitive ceratopsid)
    Heterodontosaurids (primitive ornithopods)

    Then, phylogenetic bracketing:
    Early coelurosaurs = most later coelurosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurids, Ornithomimids, Dromaeosaurids ("Raptors"), Oviraptorids, Therizinosaurs - and Birds. Birds are Coelurosaurs.
    Psittacosaurus and Heterodontosaurus = Ceratopsids, Ornithopods (Iguanodon et al)

    Lizard skin evidence include: Hadrosaurids (which are Ornithopods), Abelisaurids, Ceratopsids and Tyrannosaurus.

    In conflicting ones, such as Tyrannosaurus, they may have had both, like modern birds have scaly feet, Tyrannosaurus might have shared fur and scales alike.

    Alternative forms: Psittacosaurids had long tail spines, and later ceratopsids may have had spines. Triceratops very likely had long, stiff spines growing from a select set of very wide scales on its body.
    Long spines are also possible to have grown from Scutellosaurus, an ancestor to Ankylosaurs and Stegosaurus.

    The reason it was originally mostly about small ones, is because the smaller - the better preserved.
    We might have to get used to the idea of integument, and once again, look at living animals of today - giraffes have the stiff mane along the neck, elephants have long (disgusting) hairs growing from their bodies, lions have a huge fluff around their neck as well as tufts from their elbows and their tails.

    ^what in the goddamn

    @Kohno, prehistoric marine life belongs to all kinds of evolutionary trees unrelated to dinosaurs. Afaik, they are ALL reptiles, and would not have integument other than fine scales. Dinosaurs were *not* reptiles, but - like mammals - descent FROM reptiles. Reptiles are cold blooded. Dinosaurs, birds and mammals are warm blooded.

    I agree that "the more we learn", obviously. As a kid, I was often attracted to the most "sensory offensive" dinosaur illustrations, and in retrospect, I learned these were typically the ones based on fossils - not on tradition.
    Living animals today look like freaks, but we are just used to them. Dinosaurs were living animals, not cinema dragons, and would likely look freakish as hell, when seen alive :D
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  10. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    I'm gona be honest, I did not read a single thing in this thread, and only came to look at dinos. Neat drawings!
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  11. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    When did this:

    Become hotter than this:

    REAL raptors have SCALES.
  12. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    I know, I know, I have some real paleo-diggers on my Twitter, I'll let them know what you think about the whole issue, and we'll see what they can do about it.
    Personally I like them fluffy, it makes them more approachable

    you know, to catch and eat

    I always liked that idea

    You'd have to pluck them first! If it's any consolation, I think the wing-feathers are way over-done in that illustration you post. Yes, Velociraptor HAS been proven to grow wing-feathers, not even odd relatives, but Velociraptor itself - however, it did not fly, and would therefore not need to have the feathers developed like that. In V. the feathers were probably for communicative flapping. (Compare to my Velociraptor, where I deliberately try to un-cuten it, while keeping the feathers. Feathers =/= adorable)
    An idea I find amusing to apply to Tyrannosaurus. Long have scientists wondered why T's arms were so physically well developed, despite being so tiny. T's arms had bigger muscles than a human arm - why??? Well... communicative flapping could be an explanation!

    ALSO! You'll love this - They did NOT bend their wrists that way. It would break, and or hurt the raptor. Their hands would be turned sideways, and their clawing motions would go from out - to inwards, sidewaysly, not up to down, outwardsly, if you catch my drift.

    You'll also love this: After investigating more of the T's brain (casts of its braincase, and comparisons of the various areas), it is now believed it did not actually roar, but was more likely to make birdy sounds, rolls, squeaks, pops. Ain't that cute!? :D

    I love all that stuff. The weirder the better. The more contrary to our expectations, the even better! They were pretty much aliens, to what we're used to.
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  13. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dogmeat

    Nov 22, 2009
    Makes sense what Zegh wrote earlier, that dino-feathers weren't bird-like feathers but different. Possibly helping with camoflage? The feathery dino goes to new areas and then grows and sheds fethers that match the environment? Would that be posssible? I doubt an ambush predator would be colourful and decked out like a really messed up Vegas tranny prostitute.

    I really don't even the get the idea of a roaring dino. They even made the shark roar in Jaws 1 which is considered to be a classic these days. Just silly. A mostly quiet dino that's ambushing around is much scarier to me.

    Edit. Hmm, actually a crocodile does make a kind of growling sound. I forgot for some reason.Pretty cool sounds actually.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  14. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Evolution is tricky to the normal human brain, because we tend to see it as goal oriented. Our brain always seeks "the satisfying narrative"
    Dino-bird is weird to us, because we simplify it as "why on earth would nature turn T-fucking-rex into a pigeon?"
    Reality is, it didn't. Tyrannosaurus died out, the giant, awesome, killing machine that it was.
    Reality is very complicated, and takes a lot of effort to fully understand, in all fields of science.

    So, understanding flying and feathers, we have to go back, and see what other things happened, that had nothing to do with flying - first of all is insulation.
    Mammals evolved from reptiles, and our fur are long strings of keratin - evolved from lizard scales. So, dinosaurs took a similar route, for the same purpose. Their "fur", unlike mammal fur, was not single-strained, but grew branches. Now we have the basis for future feathers, and we can see why they would evolve - regardless of flight.

    Now, the wings. Early theropod dinosaurs would allready hold their hands tightly to the sides of their bodies, in order to achieve higher aerodynamics while running. Over time, feathers on their arms would grow longer, in order to cover the arms better, and make the arms transition seamlessly into the body, when the arms were folded in.
    Like with all evolutionary oddities, it is highly likely sexual selection also played a big part in this, and longer-and-longer arm-feathers would be used for flippity-flapping.
    Lately, they have discovered a high prevalence of leg-"wings", long wing-like feathers growing on the ankles of small raptors. Sometimes animal genes have certain codes, like "code for growing very long feather alongside front limbs", and these might get swapped around "code for growing very long feathers along /hind/ limbs", you know, mutation. If this was sexay to another dinosaur, they kept it - and they did.

    Now, crow-sized mini-raptors would glide with what was now proportionally very large wings - and both front and hind wings were used for gliding. Some had all 4 wings and some only had 2 wings. 2 wings, apparently, was easyer than 4. I guess 4 was best for gliding, but 2 made for better maneuvering.
    By mid-jurassic this wing-trend begun - and by late Jurassic, dino-birds allready mastered efficient powered flight, in enormous flocks that could cover the sky, just like today. In other words, being able to fly was (not surprisingly) hugely advantageous, and spurred an explosion of rapid diversity. During early cretaceous, entire sub-groups of birds existed, that have no direct descendant today, but that in most aspects resembled passerines (sparrows et al)
    During this time, a lot of the tiny crow-o-saurs "evolved back" to the ground, grew in size, and became the very bird-like raptors, such as Velociraptor and Deinonychus.
    The dinosaurs considered the closest to "direct ancestors" to bird-lineage, seem to be basal Troodontids - or something very similar to such. Troodontids are very closely related to Velociraptor, but much more slender, and typically much smaller.
    By late cretaceous modern ocean birds existed, and it is possible certain bird-families, such as ducks, were fully developed. And Tyrannosaurus itself stayed on the sidelines of this, being the last species of its evolutionary tree, and dying out in the cataclysmic "K-T event"

    Surviving the catastrophe seems to have been an issue of size. Most animals small enough to survive on scraps of this-and-that made it through the disaster, and it's kind of fascinating to see how this one, odd little evolutionary trait ended up saving a small percentage of the combined dinosaur fauna, all the way to this very day.
    Just today, on my way to the store, I greeted a magpie. As usual, it got confused at my unexpected verbal interaction, and stared at me.

    /Wall of text

    And yes, the whole "roaring" thing is totally overdone :D Even animals who typically roar, don't even roar, like lions. They go more "Urrrhhh! Urrrhhh!"
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  15. Juza The Cloud

    Juza The Cloud Nanto Goshasei

    Jun 3, 2015
    Just reading this is making want some kentucky fried dinosaur. So do you think actual dinosaurs tasted more like various game birds and less like gators and snakes ? Purely speculatively speaking of course.
  16. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    Doesn't crocodile/gator allready "taste like chicken"?
    This would also be supported by phylogenetic bracketing :V
  17. Juza The Cloud

    Juza The Cloud Nanto Goshasei

    Jun 3, 2015
    Ive eaten both and gator the few times ive had it is more comparable to vaugley fish like if that makes any sense. Birds vary in flavor and gameness; farm raised chicken tastes different then say quail.
  18. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    From my perspective the texture of gator is "gummy" or "chewy", the flavor is rather bland and oily; the experience is more akin to chewing on a misshapen bouncy ball than chicken.

    I honestly never understood why people typically say something tastes like chicken when it does not.
    Want to eat something that tastes like chicken? Eat chicken.
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  19. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Dogmeat

    Nov 22, 2009
    I've seen a small crocodile or alligator once. It was in a reptilian show in a kind of tank with a glass plate over it so you could see it from above. It gave off a "don't mess with me mofo, I mean it" - vibe just by laying there not moving at all.

    They also had big snakes like boas and pythons etc. There's something hypnotic about them, when you see them you can't help but stare at them. They are fashionating. Good times.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  20. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    I discovered Zegh's secret author persona:
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