It started with a visit to the zoo. Those remarkable African birds, the ground hornbills, got me thinking about Dale Russell’s hypothetical thought-experiment (Russell 1987, Russell & Seguin 1982): what if non-avian dinosaurs (specifically, troodontid maniraptorans) had not bought the farm at the end of the Cretaceous but, instead, had continued to evolve? One thing led to another and I ended up both disagreeing with Russell’s concept of a human-like erect-bodied short-faced flat-footed tailless dinosauroid, and speculating about what – in my view – a ‘real’ dinosauroid might look like…
My description proved inspirational to Nemo Ramjet who, I am honoured to say, produced the new-look dinosauroid Avisapiens saurotheos (cropped image at left), a post-Cretaceous big-brained maniraptoran that conforms with my ideas. On a parallel Earth where theropod dinosaurs have followed a similar evolutionary path to hominids, this is the result.
As you’ll note from the links – and as you’ll know if you’re a follower of Tetrapod Zoology anyway – all of this is old hat. The news is that Nemo has taken this one step further. I won’t spoil the surprise by recounting all the details, but highlights include the use of spit and charcoal, of feathers and twigs gripped between Nemo’s teeth, and the rendition of the black thing, nemesis of Avisapiens. Once more Nemo, I am honoured. Long may you daub your naked body in paint and run around making bird noises.
Refs – –
Russell, D. A. 1987. Models and paintings of North American dinosaurs. In Czerkas, S. J. & Olson, E. C. (eds) Dinosaurs Past and Present, Volume I. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County/University of Washington Press (Seattle and Washington), pp. 114-131.
– . & Seguin, R. 1982. Reconstruction of the small Cretaceous theropod Stenonychosaurus inequalis and a hypothetical dinosauroid. Syllogeus 37, 1-43.