Remember this? Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska** , the discoverer of Deinocheirus (the Terrible Claw) in awe of her own discovery…How many times have we stood and stared in awe of this fossil, imagining what the rest of the animal would look? Comparative anatomy deductions and guesswork are all too good but can never compare to the real thing… as the events in the last weeks news have demonstrated.
Five decades after casts of those enigmatic gigantic arms started making their way to museums all over the world, the rest of the body is being finally released… even if it is so in (bureaucratic) stages. It is not until recently that the skull has been re-integrated to the rest of the body (that itself was a stellar presentation at SVP last year)! The full story promises to be yet another paleontological odyssey .
We all saw it in the internet: the fossils are finally being rightfully returned to Mongolia, like. See http://www.infomongolia.com/ct/ci/7787
And well… here is my tentative (but closer than ever!) take at what the animal might have looked like.
Details of the skull might not be quite right since it has not been properly published, but I will modify or add them at a later stage if necessary. In the meantime this is the closest I could get to the real thing as shown in the “devolution ceremony” pictures… it was irresistible! I’m excited about the new discoveries of massive sauropods in Argentina… but this cannot compare!
In my latest Dinosnores session at the Natural History Museum in London, I inserted this illustration as an extreme example of the extremes Dinosauria achieved in its 169 million years of evolution… and think that there is still the image of a lizard as representative of what “a Dinosaur” looks in some people’s imagination! How far-out from that can this be?
Don’t be fooled by the distant similarity to a hadrosaur head that the recent pictures of the skull show… this is an Ornithomimid*! Only a really massive one. A person would barely reach the knee of the animal. As more graphic material from the skull is released I’ll be able to apply the final touches. The back “hump” will be restored as a sail by many… but not by me.. Those elongated neural spines in the hip-back area remind me much more a bison or a camel than a “sail”. So I did the analogy accordingly… a massive dinosaurian “camel”. The famous, massive arms became small compared to the rest of the body. What you are seeing here is the preliminary version of one of the protagonists of my next piece of artwork. You can forget or take as “relics” any other artwork that I have done regarding Deinocheirus before (and that surprisingly are still circulating in the internet)…At last we can start thinking in a closer-than-ever accurate take at a veritable new dinosaur marvel that we have all been wiring to see for for so long! The rest will be NEXT…!
*According to Dr. Thom Holtz preliminary analyses makes this animal close to Garudimimus and Beishanlong. So it would be a “garudimimid” (or rather, bringing back the older name, a deinocheirid)
**Corrected from my previous assertion that it was Halszka Osmolska. It is indeed Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska instead.