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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Comparitive Forelimb Muscle Attachments - Ventral

The ventral forelimb muscle attachment sites in crocodylians, Anhanguera, and a corvid. The attachments in Anhanguera are inferred from muscle scars, and comparison with crocodylians and birds.

  • Bennett, S. C., 2003. Morphological evolution of the pectoral girdle of pterosaurs myology and function, in Buffetaut, E., and Mazin, J-M. (eds) 2003, Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs, geological society of London, 2003 217 pp. 191-215
  • Hudson, E. H., Lanzillotti P. J., 1955. Gross anatomy of the wing muscles in the family Corvidae, The American Midland Naturalist, 53:1 pp. 1-44
  • Meers, M. B., 2003. Crocodylian forelimb musculature and its relevance to the Archosauria, The Anatomica Record, Part A

Comparitive Forelimb Muscle Attachments - Dorsal

The dorsal forelimb muscle attachment sites in crocodylians, Anhanguera, and a corvid. The attachments in Anhanguera are inferred from muscle scars, and comparison with crocodylians and birds.

  • Bennett, S. C., 2003. Morphological evolution of the pectoral girdle of pterosaurs myology and function, in Buffetaut, E., and Mazin, J-M. (eds) 2003, Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs, geological society of London, 2003 217 pp. 191-215
  • Hudson, E. H., Lanzillotti P. J., 1955. Gross anatomy of the wing muscles in the family Corvidae, The American Midland Naturalist, 53:1 pp. 1-44
  • Meers, M. B., 2003. Crocodylian forelimb musculature and its relevance to the Archosauria, The Anatomica Record, Part A

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Structure of a Pterosaur


Here's something I've been working on for quite some time: a multi-layered diagram of all the structural elements of a pterosaur - basically, the things that give them their shape.

You can find the full version, with a still image, an interactive version, and a higher-res video at palaeontography.

It's also up at YouTube, if you want to vote for it, or whatever people do on YouTube.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Compsognathus longipes

This is a digital re-working of a fairly old picture of mine: Compsognathus longipes feeding on a dead fish it has found on a Solnhofen beach.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The disastrous pop-culture image of Velociraptor

In doing a quick search for Velociraptor images today, I came across something disturbing: the entire first page of google results (with one exception of a Todd Marshall painting) are complete rubbish. They look nothing like what we know of Velociraptor's true appearance from fossil evidence and careful study.

Who cares? I do! A more accurate feel for the appearance of prehistoric animals gives us all a better appreciation of evolution and biodiversity, and is just plain more interesting than the silly pop-culture image.

The real Velociraptor was a very birdlike animal not much bigger than a turkey. Perhaps it looked something like my drawing above, or maybe like one of the these excellent restorations at Scott Hartman's SkeletalDrawing.com.

If you want to help give Velociraptor its rightful image in pop-culture, participate in "link-to-an-accurate-Velociraptor day". Simply link to your favourite V. image or page using the word "Velociraptor" in your journal , website or blog, and help bring the popular image of V. (and by extension prehistoric animals) more into line with the science.

Here's a few links to accurate restorations (there are surprisingly few, in my opinion):

Velociraptor by Matt Martynuik,
Velociraptor , and Velociraptor and Protoceratops by yours truly,
Velociraptor by Mike Keesey,
Velociraptor, Velociraptor and Velociraptor by Alain Beneteau, and
Velociraptor by Demetrios Vital.