Watch This: Reconstructing a Spiny Dinosaur From the Skeleton Up

By Valerie Ross | October 3, 2012 3:18 pm

It’s always nice to put a face to a name—and not just in the case of humans. Paleontologist Paul Sereno just introduced the world to Pegomastax africanus, a small two-legged dinosaur that lived 200 million years ago, traipsing through what is now South Africa armed with a pointed beak, unexpectedly sharp canine teeth, and a bristling coat of quills. Calling to mind an image of such an unusual animal is difficult (I come up with a sort of parrot-wolf-porcupine-raptor mix which, while intriguing, is certainly not correct). Luckily, however, there are people like Tyler Keillor, a paleoartist who builds lifelike models of ancient animals, letting us see them face to face rather than as a list of features. In the video above, he reconstructs P. africanus layer by layer, starting with a resin skull and adding clay muscles, all the way up intricately painted silicone rubber skin and fishing-line quills.

[via Scientific American]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World
  • Robert Tuck

    The imaginative reconstruction depicted in this video actually is of my family “namesake,” _Heterodontosaurus tucki_ Crompton and Charig, 1962 (specimen number SAM-PK-K1332, with “bristles based on those preserved in _Tianyulong confuciusi _ [Zheng et al., 2009]”, specimen number STMN 26-3), a sympatric relative of Sereno’s _Pegomastax africanus_. See Sereno, 2012, Figure 101 (caption).

    = Robert G. Tuck, Jr. =

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