Monday, March 19, 2007

Testing: Deinonychus skull

This is a reconstruction of a Deinonychus skull I've attempted some time ago. All I did was scan in Ostrom's figures of the individual skull elements, scaled them to an arbitrary size (which I thought may be reasonable) and reassembled and coloured on Photoshop.

The main reason I did this was because I was not really happy with the reconstructions that are out there now. Most are based on Ostrom's initial reconstruction in his monograph which I think doesn't really look right. On the other hand, many museum displays will have reconstructions with a very pointy snout which frankly I don't really know how that came to be either. These reconstructions don't resemble close relatives such as Velociraptor or Dromaeosaurus at all. The best one I've seen so far is by Greg Paul.

And on top of that, I thought that these previous reconstructions (excluding Paul's) didn't really look like the actual fossils themselves figured in Ostrom's monograph. So, I was curious to see what Deinonychus would look like if I just assembled all the skull elements together. And above is the result. Of course I did not look at the original specimen personally so I take no credit to its accuracy. This is purely just for my personal curiosity. This one's just really a rough trial so if I get around to it, I'll do a better one using Illustrator or something.
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4 comments:

Malacoda said...

Hey Mambo. I was just wondering about your reconstruction method - is that how most people do it?

Mambo-Bob said...

I'm not sure. I think a lot of people hire an artist to do it.

Sarda Sahney said...

Could you expand on your comment of "Ostrom's initial reconstruction in his monograph which I think doesn't really look right." Is there specifically somewhere you think he went wrong or do you mean more of a gut feeling?

Mambo-Bob said...

Well, you can have a look yourself but Ostrom's reconstructed skull nothing like the isolated elements. He's got them beautifully figured individually, yet his reconstruction does not resemble them at all. I guess you've gotta take into account the time period - remember when all carnivorous dinosaurs had faces like lizards...