\ Visualizing Evolution: Illustrating sauropod hands

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Illustrating sauropod hands

From his archives, there's yet another useful post for paleoartists from Tetrapod Zoology:

The hands of sauropods: horseshoes, spiky columns, stumps and banana shapes

It's a great reference and synopsis, and he explains the reasons for the anatomy of the sauropod wrist in context of its evolution from bipedal ancestors (the prosauropods, of which I am painfully familiar).
(from Milàn, J., Christiansen, P. & Mateus, O. 2005. A three-dimensionally preserved sauropod manus impression from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal: implications for sauropod manus shape and locomotor mechanics. Kaupia 14, 47-52.)

I wonder how the wrist structure of the ceratopsians and stegosaurs differ from that of sauropods, given that they also evolved their quadrupedalism separately.

And to the author Darren Naish...
"I also want to note that in no way is it the 'fault' of the artists concerned, given that (1) they've mostly based what they've done on the published work of those who have gone before them, and (2) while many of them have a history of working with palaeontologists, none of the experts they've been advised by before have bothered to tell them what they've been getting wrong."
...I must say thank you! This is so true about science art in any topic, but you could also add that (3) publishers often care more about having a quick deadline than accuracy which forces artists to trust the accuracy of whatever source material and information is given to us.

Now I'm hoping I'll get to do some sauropod work eventually so I can use this good information. The prosauropods I drew for my masters project (See Anatomy: Pages 4 & 5) were bipedal and didn't walk on their hands as adults.

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