I’ve been so busy over the past several weeks that I’ve totally failed to keep up with several of my favourite blogs. One of them is Andrea Cau’s Theropoda, written in Italian but translatable into English thanks to the wonder of google’s translator widget (incidentally, my grandmother on my dad’s side was Italian). The amount of detail Andrea puts in to his posts is awesome, as are the many novel excellent illustrations he uses (virtually all of which he produces himself). And I’ve only just seen this, dating from early October…
Andrea posted it here, basically as a guessing game (all those bits belong to real theropod taxa). But of course this is only the latest incarnation of the big-brained smart theropods that have become a recurrent Tet Zoo theme over its three years of operation. Here is a timeline…
— It started in August 2006 with ground hornbills, specifically with the suggestion that these neat birds might be regarded as avian pseudo-hominids. See Bucorvids: post-Cretaceous maniraptorans on the savannah.
— This idea (which is not novel to me) inspired Nemo Ramjet to create a new-look version of Russell and Séguin’s post-Cretaceous big-brained troodontid. In November 2006, still at Tet Zoo ver 1, the results were discussed and Avisapiens saurotheos was loose upon the world: see Dinosauroids revisited.
— By March 2007, Avisapiens had evolved its own culture. Cave art once produced by the species had been discovered: see Dinosauroid cave art discovered.
— And by March 2008 I covered the debut of Avisapiens in the literature (Hecht 2007, Socha 2008), and also drew attention to the additional smart theropods invented by John McLoughlin and Mike Magee (How intelligent dinosaurs conquered the world). I later cannibalised this material for the literature and, after getting rejected by Nature, Science and PNAS, decided to bite the bullet and try a far superior venue. To my astonishment, I succeeded, the result being Naish (2008) [which has already been cited at least once, by Karl Shuker no less].
— In May 2008, Edman Goodrich invented another dinosauroid (unfortunately it’s since disappeared from the web) and in April 2008 Asher Elbein had created another, Venatosapiens erectus.
— In September 2008, Simon Roy of RobotBlood invented yet another smart big-brained theropod. It’s a corvid, inspired by the tool-using abilities of New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides.
— And here we are, with – in October 2008 – Andrea’s new take and new name. What a long, strange trip it has been. If only someone made a toy Avisapiens: then the journey would be complete.
Ref – –
Hecht, J. 2007. Smartasaurus. Cosmos 15, 40-41.
Naish, D. 2008. Intelligent dinosaurs. Fortean Times 239, 52-53.
Socha, V. 2008. Dinosau?i: hlupáci, nebo géniové? Sv?t 3/2008, 14-16.