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All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals – the book and the launch event


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My latest book, All Yesterdays, is now out (Irregular Books, 2012; details below). Subtitled Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, the book – available both as an e-book and as a hard-copy, actual book book – was co-authored by John Conway, C. M. Kosemen (aka Memo) and myself. It’s fantastically illustrated in both colour and black and white, containing about 50 original pieces of artwork produced by John and Memo. An additional number of excellent skeletal reconstructions are included too and were provided by Scott Hartman of SkeletalDrawing.com.

You may already have heard about All Yesterdays if you follow palaeontology- or palaeoart-related news, since it’s been extensively reviewed and discussed online.

Before continuing, I have to insert the usual disclaimer over the term ‘palaeoart’. The term is not ideal, since it could mean “art produced during prehistoric times”. John’s term palaeontography could be used as a replacement but has yet to become popular, despite its appearance in at least one popular book (Baines 2010). There’s also the issue over what we really mean when we talk about ‘palaeoart’. Is any depiction of ancient life an example of palaeoart (no matter how abstract or technically inaccurate), or do we insist that illustrations classed as palaeoart are meant to be technically accurate, meticulously researched reconstructions? Here’s where recognising the distinction between palaeoart and palaeontography could be a very good idea.

John talks about phylogenetic bracketing and what we currently know about the distribution of integumentary structures in dinosaurs. Photo by Darren Naish.

On Friday 7th December, we held our official launch event at Conway Hall (ha ha, total coincidence), London. John, Memo and I all gave presentations about the book, about the history and science of palaeoart in general, and about the interplay between science and speculation before signing copies, body parts, napkins and so on. A neat and interested crowd turned up and it was great to see both familiar stalwarts of the dino-art crowd as well as many new faces. Interested laypeople, bloggers and journalists were there too, some of whom have already posted reviews of the event online (see links below). The talks were filmed and will appear online at some stage.

The three of us (l to r: Naish, Conway, Kosemen) busily signing copies of the book while others assist our busy efforts. Front to back: Bob Nicholls, Mark Witton, Neil Phillips. Photo by Richard Hing.

What is All Yesterdays about? It revolves around the central concept that much about long-extinct animals is unknown and essentially unknowable, rendering it possible that extinct animals were sometimes as bizarre, as incredible and as ridiculous – anatomically, behaviourally and physiologically – as are many living animals.

Memo's slide on the representation of dinosaurs in popular culture and what it can mean for science literacy and education in general. Photo by Darren Naish.

While we’re certainly not advocating unrestrained silliness or absurdity, the point is that many ‘mainstream’ works in palaeoart have been notoriously samey, with the same look to the animals and the same behavioural interactions perpetuated again and again, often as memes where colour schemes, postures, details and compositions are copied over decades or even centuries.

As I hoped to convey in my talk, much of the reason for this situation comes from the fact that many artists paid to illustrate fossil animals for books and such are given minimal advice (or no advice at all), are working to near-impossible deadlines, and are working for peanuts. It’s about impossible to change this situation, since demand for books on prehistoric animals is at an all-time high while the willingness and ability of publishers to pay artists appropriately or even at all is at an all-time low. In any case, the artwork in ‘normal’, ‘mainstream’ books isn’t the stuff that’s carrying us forward, or changing or challenging our expectations – over the last several years, the exciting and innovative stuff has been produced independently, often for fun, and has appeared online.

There is a near-insatiable appetite for new books on prehistoric animals. Here are some of the prehistoric animal books I own, many published within the last 10 years.

‘New look’ dinosaurs (and other animals)

It’s a fair assumption that the extravagant looks, fat, flabby or heavily fuzzed-up or feathered-up bodies and fantastic display structures of living animals raise the possibility that fossil ones were often much weirder in appearance than their skeletons alone might lead us to think.

All Yesterdays famously includes a section on modern animals depicted as if seen through ill-informed, 'future' eyes. To get the whole story you'll just have to read the book. Illustration by C. M. Kosemen.

And both recent fossil finds and attempts to reconstruct soft tissues have shown that dinosaurs and other fossil animals were less ‘shrink-wrapped’ than depicted in much of the art that has appeared since the Dinosaur Renaissance. Necks were almost certainly deeper and more muscular than often thought; tissues associated with the nasal region mean that dinosaurs of some groups had ‘softer’ faces than often portrayed (Witmer 2001); bristles, integumentary fibres, frills and spines decorated the heads, tails and/or bodies of many species (e.g., Horner 1984, Czerkas 1992, Mayr et al. 2002, Zheng et al. 2009); feathery species were often extravagantly feathered, with feathering extending to the ends of their fingers, toes and tail tips. According to as-yet unpublished or unverified claims, dewlaps, inflatable throat pouches, balloon-like nasal sacs, chainmail-like scalation and other structures decorated the bodies of certain ornithischians and theropods.

The idea that dinosaurs (and other fossil animals) were complex in appearance and a million miles away from the zombie-like renditions produced by some artists in the past is now a very familiar one; or, it is to anyone seriously interested in the restoration of extinct animals. A large number of artists have been illustrating fossil animals with the appropriate amount of soft tissues for a while now. Many of these artists have been innovative and have deliberately avoided the sorts of stereotypes mentioned above. The world does not need another Deinonychus pack shown leaping onto the flanks of a Tenontosaurus.

One of my slides about shrink-wrapping. Pictures by Cameron McCormick (whale), Adrian Wimmer (chicken), TheMacronarian (cat and horse) and Optimistic Painter Matt (kitteh).

In arguing that fossil animals – dinosaurs especially – should be portrayed this way, All Yesterdays is part of a much grander movement in palaeoart; we do not represent a lone voice in the wilderness, nor are we the first people to say what we’re saying. However, All Yesterdays is (so far as we know) the first book to be published that’s devoted to an exploration of both ‘soft dinosaurs’ (a term I’m stealing from the brilliant Jason Brougham) and to the deliberate non-perpetuation of behavioural memes and stereotypes.

What we’re not saying

It’s very easy to completely misunderstand the point of All Yesterdays if you haven’t read what we’ve written. Over at the io9 article about the book, a palaeontologist objected to the implication that the door is wide open for whatever you might want to imagine about fossil animals. We certainly are saying that some aspects of life appearance (and some aspects of behaviour) are up for grabs in some cases, but we certainly aren’t saying this for the general overall appearance of those species known from good remains.

One of my slides about Greg Paul and the impact and value of his work. Images (c) Greg Paul.

The near-complete, articulated skeletons known for some species, combined with the information we have from muscle attachment sites on bones and the myology of extant animals, means that the basic musculoskeletal anatomies of some fossil animals are well understood. We explicitly state in All Yesterdays that rigorous musculoskeletal reconstructions are needed if an animal is to be reconstructed properly, and none of our artwork is ‘off’ when it comes to proportions and other such basics.

Scott Hartman's fat-tailed Tyrannosaurus, produced in co-operation with Persons & Currie (2011).

The easiest thing here is to quote from the book itself: “We must note to begin with that reconstructing a fossil animal is not a speculative process that has many possible outcomes, but a rigorous and evidence-led one where informed artists produce a technically accurate musculoskeletal reconstruction for a given animal” (Conway et al. 2012, p. 8). What we do say in the book (and as I said in my talk) is that while the positions of muscles might be known (or reasonably inferred), their size is typically something we can’t be so sure about. Hence we now have fat-tailed theropods (Persons & Currie 2011) – as opposed to the slimmer-tailed ones produced by Bakker and Paul – and also a degree of leeway as goes how chunky and how muscular animals like Tyrannosaurus might have looked overall (Hutchinson et al. 2011).

When it comes to behaviour, I can’t see that we’re saying anything particularly surprising. Body shapes and bits of evidence like stomach contents, bite marks, tracks and burrows and so on give us a broad idea of what many fossil animals did when alive. The point is that extinct animals surely engaged in surprising and weird bits of behaviour during sociosexual displays or when intimidating enemies or predators; furthermore, they surely played, slept, engaged in acts of sexual deviance, ate things and did things that they were probably not supposed to, and so on. Again, we have to infer all of these things because they are so widespread in the modern world. And if you think that interesting and complex behaviours are restricted to mammals and birds, you need to revise your opinion in view of what we now know about lizards, turtles, crocodiles and even amphibians and fish. And anatomy is not destiny (Smith & Redford 1990). Animals sometimes do counter-intuitive things that seem surprising in view of their anatomy, both because their anatomy ‘allows’ it and because they can be curious, stupid and/or willing to take unusual risks.

C. M. Kosemen's sexually frustrated stegosaur is about to try and take advantage of an unlucky sauropod. It may be possible to argue that male stegosaurs did not have giant, flexible sexual organs like this. It may not.

We had fun with these possibilities, and hence we have John’s lekking elasmosaurs – aiming to impress potential mates by thrusting their long necks vertically out of the water – and Memo’s sexually frustrated stegosaur, about to molest a surprised sauropod. For most of these activities “[n]o record of such behaviour could possibly exist – [they are] wholly and unashamedly speculative – and yet things equally spectacular must have happened throughout the history of life” (Conway et al. 2012, p. 20).

Stan the T. rex, having a sleep. All Yesterdays >might< be the first book to include a section on sleeping behaviour in Mesozoic dinosaurs (hmmm... I need to check William Stout's book though). Art by John Conway.

For those who think that we’re being too sensational and only depicting crazy and quirky stuff, we also have sleeping tyrannosaurs, animals standing around doing nothing, and tenontosaurs strolling on their own without a single bloodthirsty Deinonychus in sight. In fact, one point we make is that some dinosaurs – feathery theropods in particular – have been depicted as dragonesque monsters far too often. The real animals were probably… well, more like real animals.

So far, the reception we’ve received for All Yesterdays has been encouraging, with most readers understanding entirely where we’re coming from. Keeping in mind that it represents the sort of stuff that many people in the community are thinking and talking about, and illustrating, we have to wonder: does All Yesterdays mark some sort of watershed with respect to the maturity of palaeoart?

Individual prints of the pieces of art that appear in the book can be purchased from the artists. Inquire for more info (or contact over email or facebook).

It’s clear that we need to know our history – we’ve only gotten to where we are with respect to the portrayal of extinct animals thanks to the ideas and work of our predecessors. We also need to know as much about anatomy as possible, to understand the things that we do know, but also the things that we don’t know, since those are the areas where there’s scope and even need for speculation. We need to have some sort of documentation of what we do know, since there’s a surprising absence of good texts on the techniques and history of palaeoart. The ‘anatomically rigorous’ movement in palaeoart, initiated by people like Robert Bakker, Greg Paul and Jay Matternes, and today carried on by so many excellent scientists and artists, needs to be supported and celebrated.

We basically hope that All Yesterdays inspires more people to think about the science and speculation involving in depicting fossil animals in a new way: there’s clearly lots to think about, lots to argue about, and lots that will be informed by ongoing scientific work. Has All Yesterdays been a triumph? I’m making a note here: huge success. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction. What with the also recent publication of Steve White’s Dinosaur Art volume – John and myself were both involved in that one too – I think this has been a very exciting year for anyone interested in palaeoart.

Conway, J., Kosemen, C. M. & Naish, D. 2012. All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals. Irregular Books. ISBN 978-1-291-17712-1. Softback, 100pp.

Buy All Yesterdays directly from Irregular Books (the page there has a nice list of reviewer comments) or here at lulu.com: as a printed softback book it’s £22 (c. US$36, c. EUR27); as an ebook it’s £6 (c. US$9.6, c. EUR7.4).

Here’s what’s already been said about All Yesterdays online:-

Refs – -

Baines, F. 2010. Know It All: Facts, Stats, Lists, Records and More. Dorling Kindersley, London.

Czerkas, S. A. 1992. Discovery of dermal spines reveals a new look for sauropod dinosaurs. Geology 20, 1068-1070.

Horner, J. R. 1984. A “segmented” epidermal tail frill in a species of hadrosaurian dinosaur. Journal of Paleontology 58, 270-271.

Hutchinson, J. R., Bates, K. T., Molnar, J., Allen, V. & Makovicky, P. J. 2011. A computational analysis of limb and body dimensions in Tyrannosaurus rex with implications for locomotion, ontogeny, and growth. PLoS ONE 6(10): e26037. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026037

Mayr, G., Peters, D. S. & Plodowski, G. 2002. Bristle-like integumentary structures at the tail of the horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus. Naturwissenschaften 89, 361-365.

Persons, W. S. & Currie, P. J. 2011. The tail of Tyrannosaurus: reassessing the size and locomotive importance of the M. caudofemoralis in non-avian theropods. The Anatomical Record 294, 119-131.

Smith, K. K. & Redford, K. H. 1990. The anatomy and function of the feeding apparatus in two armadillos (Dasypoda): anatomy is not destiny. Journal of Zoology 222, 27-47.

Witmer, L. M. 2001. Nostril position in dinosaurs and other vertebrates and its significance for nasal function. Science 293, 850-853.

Zheng, X.-T., You, H.-L, Xu, X. & Dong, Z.-M. 2009. An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur with filamentous integumentary structures. Nature 458, 333-336.

Darren Naish About the Author: Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK). He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod. His publications can be downloaded at darrennaish.wordpress.com. He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at tetzoo.com!

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Follow on Twitter @TetZoo.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. pmurphy98 11:25 am 12/11/2012

    Great to hear that the books is such a success! Absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on it! It’s really timely that this and the the Dinosaur Art book come out so close together. Dinosaur Art talks about where we are now, and All Yesterdays talks about where we are hoping to go.

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  2. 2. Neil K. 12:19 pm 12/11/2012

    Indeed the William Stout book (The Dinosaurs, 1981) has a page on sleep (with a herd of Protoceratops sensibly nestled underneath a tree). He also depicts play–another behavior that you mention in the book as neglected by most, ahem, palaeontographers–with a pack of wraslin’ juvenile tyrannosaurs.

    The Stout book is actually pretty interesting case in light of some of the issues you raise here and in your new book. It has some of the most extreme examples of shrink-wrapping. I remember that these looked “wrong” to me even as a very young child. But it also is pretty unique in it’s creative imagining of things like parasites, defecation, drinking, allergic reaction to angiosperm pollen(!), failed predation attempts, in addition to all of the usual sex and carnage stuff. I haven’t seen the revised 2001 version, The New Dinosaurs.

    Anyway, love All Yesterdays. That “wobbegong” plesiosaur is really jarring to me, but I guess that is the point!

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  3. 3. naishd 12:31 pm 12/11/2012

    Thanks, Neil. The Stout book is a source of annoyance to me right now. If you look very carefully, you can see it at far right in the shelf-of-books image shown above – but since then I have completely lost it. This makes checking its contents a bit difficult. Anyway, yes, I thought it included a section on sleep, though I don’t know how informed it is with respect to what we know about modern animals (you may recall my 2008 article on this very subject). I totally forgot about the playing baby tyrannosaurs. I’ve since discovered an image showing playing baby sauropods in an obscure 1975 book called Prehistoric Animals.

    Our text on the wobbegong plesiosaur does mention some of the problems with the concept.

    Darren

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  4. 4. TheologyGeology 1:40 pm 12/11/2012

    I really, really, can’t wait for this to come out in real book form, in the US. It’s going to be a long wait, though, I imagine.

    As for myself, I would consider my rare prehistoric art to be paleo-art, rather than palaeontography–much of the stuff I do is impressionistic, leaning on artists such as Van Gogh–though I always do start with as much scientific information as possible for depicting the setting and the critter at hand.

    (Actually, my first work was done in impressionistic fashion, because all the detailed information I could find about the environment of the critter was locked behind paywalls–so I said “Eh, screw it. Impressionist.” I actually really had wanted to try my hands at something super-scientific, and therefore as something that would be seen as “legitimate”)

    Therefore, I would say that you COULD make a distinction–paleo art is art done of prehistoic creatures for the sake of art–perhaps a little whimsical, perhaps playing with different forms and styles of art, while palaeontography is work done to exacting standards, perhaps for published scientific texts, whether they be in journal, book, online, or museum.

    Just my thoughts as someone who dabbles in art, that’s all. :-)

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  5. 5. naishd 1:45 pm 12/11/2012

    Thanks for positive comments. But the days are gone where you wait for a book to appear in a book store – it’s available world-wide, order it now!

    Darren

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  6. 6. Heteromeles 3:24 pm 12/11/2012

    Yay! Personally, I think, as with the Sphynx cat breed, that “shrink-wrapping” will be the new standard for exotic animal breeders to aim for (he says, tongue pressed firmly in cheek).

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  7. 7. Henrique Niza 4:54 pm 12/11/2012

    Great to hear it has been a success. And I was surprised to see this book after last month I briefly addressed this subject in your “The Great Dinosaur Art Event of 2012″ post.

    It might be too early, since a few weeks ago there was no word about it, but any news about the hard book copy on Amazon?

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  8. 8. David Marjanović 4:58 pm 12/11/2012

    The shrink-wrapped chicken is so precisely Paulian, it’s incredible. :-)

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  9. 9. JoseD 12:00 am 12/12/2012

    @Naishd

    “C. M. Kosemen’s sexually frustrated stegosaur is about to try and take advantage of an unlucky sauropod. It may be possible to argue that male stegosaurs did not have giant, flexible sexual organs like this. It may not.”

    That reminds me: Does this book include a section mating behavior (Specifically, how stegosaurs might have done it)?

    “All Yesterdays >might< be the first book to include a section on sleeping behaviour in Mesozoic dinosaurs (hmmm… I need to check William Stout's book though)."

    Gardom & Milner also discuss sleeping behavior in Chapter 3 of "The Natural History Museum Book of Dinosaurs".

    "Here’s what’s already been said about All Yesterdays online:-"

    You forgot to include the NPR review Heteromeles mentioned, which reminds me of a joke/reference I've been meaning to make (Albertonykus should get it): If this book is (quoting Newitz) "150 percent of a book", then other books need to be about 50% cooler.

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  10. 10. JoseD 12:07 am 12/12/2012

    @Naishd

    “There is a near-insatiable appetite for new books on prehistoric animals. Here are some of the prehistoric animal books I own, many published within the last 10 years.”

    Forgot to ask in my previous comment: Will you list or post more/bigger photos of all your prehistoric animal books? I ask b/c I couldn’t make out a lot of the books in the above photo & I’m curious to find out more about them (Specifically, if they’re books I’d want).

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  11. 11. naishd 4:10 am 12/12/2012

    JoseD – er, no, I don’t have any plans to do that.

    Darren

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  12. 12. naishd 4:26 am 12/12/2012

    Sorry – only just saw comment # 9 (it was held up in the spam filter).

    There is and there isn’t a special section in All Yesterdays on mating – what I mean is that two of the illustrations depict sexual behaviour, so the accompanying text speculates about sexual behaviour in the species concerned. It isn’t anything like a review of mating postures for a diversity of dinosaurs, however. As for stegosaur mating behaviour, remember this Tet Zoo ver 2 article from 2011.

    Re: sleeping behaviour in Gardom & Milner’s book, I have the 1993 edition and cannot find any mention of sleep – where is it? I just noticed that p. 36 includes the line “It is entertaining, although probably fanciful, to speculate about a peaceful dinosaur landscape rend asunder by whizzing gastroliths regurgitated at high velocity by hungry sauropods”. Err, wow.

    Darren

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  13. 13. Jerzy v. 3.0. 7:13 am 12/12/2012

    Great book, plan to buy this one or dinosaur art.

    I recently saw BBC Planet Dinosaur and must say that dinos appear more flexible there than usual. Carnosaurs are regularily seen resting, titanosaurs rear up as a matter of course. There is even a scene with dinosaurs and pterosaurs which survived the K/T collision itself and are dying from starvation induced by the darkness.

    Still, I think your book will shape the paleoart for years to come.

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  14. 14. Jerzy v. 3.0. 7:14 am 12/12/2012

    A, I think Walking with Dinosaurs showed playing young Iguanodons and later young Tyrannosaurus.

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  15. 15. JoseD 8:41 pm 12/12/2012

    @Naishd

    “It isn’t anything like a review of mating postures for a diversity of dinosaurs, however.”

    No worries. I wasn’t expecting a big review, just some interesting speculations about possible sexual behaviors.

    “As for stegosaur mating behaviour, remember this Tet Zoo ver 2 article from 2011.”

    I remember that 1, which reminds me: Has the ethologist you mentioned in your response to “Dino…er…copulation” (here) published his master’s thesis yet &, if not, do you know when he will? Also, have you seen the Discovery Channel doc “Tyrannosaurus Sex” (here)? I ask b/c in said doc, Carpenter explained how a male stegosaur could’ve mounted a female (See the following piece of transcript) & I was curious what you thought.

    “Re: sleeping behaviour in Gardom & Milner’s book, I have the 1993 edition and cannot find any mention of sleep – where is it?”

    I don’t about the 1993 edition, but the following Gardom & Milner quote is on page 38 of the 2006 edition. As indicated by my review (See “My favorite serious dino book” under “Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com”), I highly recommend the 2006 edition.

    00:38:33 Narrator: But soon he learns that her plates are more maneuverable than they look.
    00:38:36 Carpenter: They weren’t rigid structures stuck to the skeleton.
    00:38:41 They actually floated in the skin.
    00:38:43 Is it possible that they could be pushed aside a little bit?
    00:38:47 Well, certainly, when the stegosaurs are younger and less mature, the skin is gonna be more flexible, which then would argue, indeed, that stegosaurs did mate when they wereounger.
    00:38:57 He could possibly push the plates aside as he mounted on top of her.

    Quoting Gardom & Milner: “The life of a meat-eating animal is very different from that of a plant-eater. When a deer wakes up in the morning it can be pretty certain that the grass will still be there, it is just a case of standing up and starting to nibble. A plant-eater’s life, and particularly the life of a plant- eating dinosaur, was really a continuous process of eating with short breaks to sleep, breed, squabble and move on to the next patch of greenery. The meat- eater has no regular food supply, and any meal it does catch may have to last for several days. Most modern meat-eaters, especially big hunters, actually spend most of their time resting (twenty hours sleep out of twenty-four for male lions) with occasional huge bursts of energy for hunting. They gorge themselves on a kill, taking in up to 25 per cent of their own body weight at one feed, and then rest until hunger drives them out to hunt once more. The big meat-eating dinosaurs must surely have followed a similar pattern.”

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  16. 16. David Marjanović 9:29 pm 12/12/2012

    “It is entertaining, although probably fanciful, to speculate about a peaceful dinosaur landscape rend asunder by whizzing gastroliths regurgitated at high velocity by hungry sauropods”.

    Awesome beyond belief.

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  17. 17. Jerzy v. 3.0. 4:48 am 12/13/2012

    It may be that sauropods combined it with burping methane which ignited in some means which didn’t fossilize. ;)

    On the topic of resting dinosaurs – can anybody guess how quickly T-rex could stand up from resting position? One of mysteries for me is how 6m tall predators could approach anything unnoticed.

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  18. 18. naishd 5:01 am 12/13/2012

    Jerzy – well, there’s no way T. rex was ordinarily 6 m tall. Its standing height (imagined with backbone sub-horizontal, as is normal) puts its head and hips at less than 4 m. It was a widespread species (apparently occurring from the far north of Canada down to the southern USA) and thus probably occurred in diverse habitats; however, it is most typically associated with temperate and subtropical woodlands. You therefore have to imagine it as an animal of well-vegetated places where there are lots of trees and big, shrubby plants.

    As for how quickly it could stand from a resting pose, my guess is that this would take 5-6 seconds (or less), as it does in elephants. Kent Stevens has produced computer simulations of resting and standing behaviour for T. rex (see here) and, so far as I recall, his models match this ‘best guess’.

    Darren

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  19. 19. naishd 5:10 am 12/13/2012

    Oh, and – Walking With Dinosaurs did include behaviour in juvenile tyrannosaurs that looked like play. They were also shown picking on a small sibling, a behaviour obviously inspired by the siblicidal battles seen in raptors. Difficult to know whether that’s likely for dinosaurs like tyrannosaurs or not. I’m guessing not, since I imagine hatching to be synchronised and babies to be similar in body size. I also get the impression that siblicidal battles are uncommon in species with precocial babies.

    Darren

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  20. 20. Finback 8:45 am 12/13/2012

    I’m thinking of buying both the electronic AND print copies, and I’ve also put forward a suggestion to the library I work in to obtain a couple of copies for our collection.

    But another point – have you considering recording dialogue for your slide shows, and uploading them onto youtube?

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  21. 21. Finback 9:25 am 12/13/2012

    … huh. Not sure if it’s my file or what, but when I open the epub version on both my PC *and* my tablet? It’s.. kinda screwy. It doesn’t show the pages properly, and the art is cropped/truncated. I can tell a difference exists, as the photo of the tree-goats shows more on my dekstop’s version than my tablet, but the “fat-tailed” tyrannosaur only shows an ass, no head.. have I got a borked file? I can upload some photos if people want to compare with theirs..

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  22. 22. naishd 10:06 am 12/13/2012

    The digital versions I’ve seen are the same as the printed one – it sounds like you have a screwy copy, hold on…

    Darren

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  23. 23. John Conway 10:57 am 12/13/2012

    Hi Finback, no one else has reported any problems so far, so it sound like you have a dodgy file or are reading it with a different reader. Email me and john.a.conway@gmail.com and I’ll try to sort this out for you.

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  24. 24. Jerzy v. 3.0. 11:09 am 12/13/2012

    Thanks, Darren, I overestimated the height but you see my point. :)

    Re: siblings: precocial chicks do compete for food and also for the warmest place under their parent. Also parents are often caring more about some chicks than others.

    In greylag geese, Lorenz (?) famously described a fixed period when brood-mates all start fighting and establish a hierarchy. This hierarchy lasts for a lifetime and is also largely responsible for the adult size and condition (dominant chicks eat better and grow even bigger).

    Not sure how it applies to extinct theropods. It is certainly likely. Didn’t they have very large broods, more like crocodiles than birds?

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  25. 25. naishd 11:14 am 12/13/2012

    Sibling competition among precocial juveniles: I am an idiot, I completely forgot about coots!

    In terms of clutch size, non-bird theropods seem to have been variable, since both small clutches (c. 6 eggs) are known, as are very large clutches (c. 28 eggs). Not possible to say whether those large clutches represent the efforts of more than one parent female.

    Darren

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  26. 26. Andreas Johansson 2:45 pm 12/13/2012

    Surely each clutch represents the efforts of at least two parents. :p

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  27. 27. Andreas Johansson 2:50 pm 12/13/2012

    (Tho the idea of parthenogenetic theropods sounds like something that would’a fit right into All Yesterdays.)

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  28. 28. David Marjanović 11:55 pm 12/13/2012

    It may be that sauropods combined it with burping methane which ignited in some means which didn’t fossilize. ;)

    Thread won.

    Link to this
  29. 29. vdinets 4:52 pm 12/14/2012

    Of course, if it was found that dinosaurs could burp and ignite methane, it would be a very strong indication that some have survived to Holocene. Otherwise it would be too much of a coincidence.

    Link to this
  30. 30. vdinets 4:56 pm 12/14/2012

    I haven’t seen the book yet, but I have to say that I really like the title :-)

    Link to this
  31. 31. Finback 5:52 pm 12/14/2012

    As a postscript to the above, my copy opens up weird in Adobe Digital Editions, but is fine in the MagicScroll app for Chrome. I took some screenshots and sent them onto John for him to check out.

    Link to this
  32. 32. Jerzy v. 3.0. 7:03 am 12/17/2012

    Which format is readable well on Windows PC without tablets, kindles etc? And how to get it?

    Apnarboreal format is still not avialable on Amazon. :/

    Link to this

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