The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

Paleoartists attempt to interpret what modern animals would look like based only on their skeletons, thus illustrating how wrong our guesses as to what dinosaurs looked like could be. I will say that the elephant illustration looks like a particularly badass critter.

Also: enjoy the mental image of dinos with soft, kissable lips:

One of [Kosemen’s] main points of contention is the way that we consider dinosaur heads. “The reference has always been crocodiles,” says Kosemen. “The biggest thing is teeth and facial fat. Readers have to be aware that all dinosaurs they see in all media, and especially in popular culture, seem to have their heads flensed. They’ve always got these weird grins with only the teeth visible.” As he points out, most animals have lips and gums and lumps of facial fat that change the profile of the head, and cover the teeth. But in many predatory dinosaur illustrations, these are usually missing, making them look fierce, if improbable.

September 26, 2017