Dinosaur Sex!

The subject has always been a spiny one…let alone the problem of size and the (sometimes) the spikes! Her are a couple of my solutions. The first one  is this couple of T.rexes having fun and putting their puny forelimbs to some use (as hooks to grapple their partner)… here’s the sketch where the previous illustration was based:

But the really thorny issue is tackled in these next two unpublished sketches where I have tried t0o solve the very popular issue of how Stegosaurus had sex… my solution was pretty basic: there’s ONE obligatory point in their anatomy where the two animals had to meet at all costs (that is: the cloacas). I reconstructed the anatomical possibilities  of the posture of the rest of the bodies around the united cloacas instead of going other ways around. Of course I had to take in consideration  how flexible could have been the tail with all those big plates on top, holding it stiff… the tail could not flex down, but it could go up and down and  sideways fairly easily!

I came with this solution (obviously there have been challenges to it and anyone is  welcome to propose even more challenges!),  There’s also the distinct possibility that they also had some sort of penis (and since penises don’t fossilise we don’t know how long that could have been). In any case, I thought it was a remarkable exercise  for expanding and challenging anatomical knowledge.  How do Stegosaurus had sex? very carefully! I’d like to leave you with an old,  famous image that only Ken Carpenter dared to publish in his book “Eggs, Nests and Baby Dinosaurs” by Indiana University Press. It is indeed the Joy of (Carnotaurus) Sex…!

About luisvrey

Paleo Illustration
This entry was posted in abelisaurs, Dinosaurs, stegosaurs, tyrannosaurs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Dinosaur Sex!

  1. Joaking says:

    Ok, so what about ankylosaurs, with their armor? Or sauropods? I remember the couple of Diplodocus from Walking with Dinosaurs, but actually I heard is a innacuratte reconstruction.

  2. luisvrey says:

    I think I’m providing here a basic recipe for reconstructing dinosaurs having sex. There are several possibilities according to the different shapes, etc but what is mandatory is that one part of the anatomy of both the animals meet: the cloacas. Based on that assumption, anyone reconstructing the animals copulating would have to go around that fact taking in consideration their anatomy, their weight and size and the general engineering of their postures. There is also another basic fact: either they copulate and procreate or they don’t survive as species, so no matter how difficult it looks to us… it happened… and more often than not! Needless to say, this could be a fascinating subject for a future serious book on the subject!

  3. Herman Diaz says:

    “There’s also the distinct possibility that they also had some sort of penis (and since penises don’t fossilise we don’t know how long that could have been).”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t non-avian dinos having penises be the most likely possibility, given that both modern crocs & primitive modern birds have penises? Also, the Carpenter reference reminded me: In his book, he compared stegosaurids to porcupines; Until recently, I had no idea how the latter did it; Then, a friend sent me the video in the following link. The point is that I can totally see stegosaurids doing it like that. Even they couldn’t bend their tails that high up, they could probably bend them far enough to the side for that to work.

    • luisvrey says:

      Yes, that I definitively contemplated in my proposal: dinosaur had penises. Just look at an ostrich penis… weird stuff! However penises in avians and reptiles are not the quite the same as mammals. They are more like anchor devices to hold the cloacas together. There is still the question that those two crucial points in their anatomy had to meet and I doubt they had penises that were like long hoses that could be used from a distance!

  4. Maybe stegs had prehensile penises, like whales and turtles/tortoises.
    That might have made things easier.

  5. Balam says:

    Hallo Luis. I am amazed by your commentary about Ken Carpenter being the only one who “dared” to publish your Carnotaurus illustration. What’s the story of that piece? When did you paint it, 1999 or earlier? And was it rejected many times before finally Carpenter “dared”?

    • luisvrey says:

      Yes the piece was earlier than the year 2000… the comment was meant mostly “in jest”given the fact that most (or all) publishers wouldn’t have anything to do with “dinosaur sex”… onbviously that was not the case with Ken… perhaps we are talking about another era!

      • Balam says:

        Was the piece requested by Ken, specially for his book, then? I am just curious if you just came up with the “weird” idea and then tried to sell it to publishers, or if it was made for a specific book on the subject since the beginning.

        And yes, maybe it was another era… I am from Spain and here we have a museum with two Rexes having fun, in Asturias (maybe you know this museum?). It’s hard to think about a museum’s permanent exhibition like this in the spanish 80s, and probably neither on the 90s… I don’t know when this exhibition was mounted, but it was not long ago for sure.

        Thanks for answering, Luis!

  6. luisvrey says:

    You are very much welcome! Well, of course being Spanish we have >that< in common! We suffered quite a lot through the years regarding the "sex problem"… And yes, I was there at the MUJA giving a talk and showing my latest dino-sex image all as part of the Hatching The Past exhibition event theatre two years ago… an my eew image was precisely two Tyrannosaurus having fun! The Carnotaurus image was done as a fun piece before any commission by Carpenter… Ken saw it and decided to ask me for it to be published… but I had already offered to many publishers and no one was interested before.

    • Balam says:

      I see, so you did it for fun, just for yourself. I like that! That’s the kind of spirit that keeps the artist flame alive. One of the paleoartists that I loved the most always was Will Stout, because you could see he was so free and having so much fun on the illustrations he did, specially for the 1981 book “The Dinosaurs”: dinos scratching, taking a dump, sneezing… Forget the solemnity of dinos just posing like statues, which in the end is just a cold, lifeless illustration. The everyday “myseries” in turn gave them a flesh and bone feeling. They wer so alive you could even smell them. There was no other book like that, after… and I always wondered why. Why people prefer to see dinosaurs like posing gods rather than as simply animals. I can see publishers simply aren’t interested in such “artistic” projects, as your experience tells. It’s sad. I can sincerely think you could perfectly do a new “Stout’s Dinosaurs” book for the new millenium, full of dinosaurs doing what they did, and making them real again.

      Well, Luis, thanks a lot for your kind answers. Best wishes from Madrid!

  7. Pingback: Tyrannosaurus sex | DinosaurusBlog

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