Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sauroposeidon was a really big dinosaur.

Sauroposeidon proteles in Territorial Display

This is one of the dino illustrations I did over the summer. I finally got around to getting it up on my website. If you click on it you will be taken to where you can see it bigger and read about the ideas and science behind it!

What's this?? Speculative but entirely plausible inflatable display structures?!? Wow! NEat!


  1. Hey, these guys are fantastic! I read you website too and I agree, better to speculate and make them way super exciting!! Which you did, of course. I also love all those animals you used for refrence, they are all so awesome.

  2. awesome as always man. got a question for you though, as a fellow dinosaur enthusiast. for all sauropods, how do you decide the length of the tail for balancing such a long neck? in a lot of dinosaur art it varies wildly. while this may just be due to speculation on myriad semi complete fossil skeletons, it seems there must be some kind of general knowledge rule to go by. do you know any?

  3. Good question Zach. The short answer is, 'no, there isn't a basic rule to go by.'

    ...but there are only a few basic body plans for sauropods, and within those groups tail to neck proportions are fairly consistent.

    Based on what we know about the different groups of sauropods, most incomplete specimens can be filled in with a reasonable degree of accuracy. For example, Sauroposeidon here is known only from a few huge neck vertebrae, but the neck vertebrae are so similar to those of the better known Brachiosaurus and Giraffititan that the living Sauroposeidon was almost certainly just a really really big brachiosaur. ...and within that group there is very little difference other than size.

    Very very basically there are two main body plans:
    The very long diplodocids, like diplodocus and apatosaurus; who have sort of a shoe-shaped head and generally had really long necks and really really long tails to that were probably used defensively.... The latest studies suggest diplodocids probably held their necks somewhat upward, with a subtle S curve in them, although they are often depicted with there necks held totally horizontally.

    And the titanosaurids, who held there necks almost vertically (like a giraffe, and who didn't have a really long whippy tail. Sauroposeidon was basically the most extreme example of this body plan.

  4. I'm just waiting for you to illustrate boat loads of books about dinosaurs. Awesome stuff Engh.