The Time Is Now: Finally Deinocheirus!

deinocheirus_claws_webRemember 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

And well… here  is my tentative (but closer than ever!) take at what the animal might have looked like.

Deinocheirus FinalBDetails  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.

About luisvrey

Paleo Illustration
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13 Responses to The Time Is Now: Finally Deinocheirus!

  1. Actually, although an ornithomimosaur, preliminary analysis puts it in a clade with Garudimimus and Beishanlong. So it would be a “garudimimid” (or rather, bringing back the older name, a deinocheirid).

  2. Tim Williams says:

    Any news on when the official re-description of Deinocheirus comes out?

  3. Tim Williams says:

    Love your Deinocheirus, BTW. The hump (as opposed to a sail) takes some getting used to though. But it kinda makes sense.

    • luisvrey says:

      Thanks… one thing that I’d like to stress is that I followed >exactly< what the fossils show… it is not a gimmick! The gimmick or speculative part of it is assuming it might have been a hump instead of a sail or some other anatomical feature, but the elongated vertebrae are precisely in the place the artwork shows… For me the most puzzling part is those apparently flimsy legs sustaining the immense framework!

  4. JoakinMar says:

    Wow, is simply amazing. I have my thoughts if the head is really from the Deinocherius or another one. It’s similar to an hadrosaur that I just imagine the head was put with Deinocherius remains and after taken the photo, people has thought is Deinocherius head. Despite of this absurd idea, I think dinosaurs are actually more bizarre than we have thought. I don’t need Jurassic Worlds or any other Hollywood blockbuster. Real dinosaurs are really weird and fascinating for me!!!

    • luisvrey says:

      For that kind of speculation we would have to wait for first the paper, and then the full story of how this marvel was discovered. There’s no doubt about the head as far as I now and can see (remember that the current pictures only show it from the top… from the side is quite different!)… and regarding the hump… well, the restoration is based on all the material available… and I DID follow every bit of it!

  5. I figured the head was a bit longer and thinner than that, with a less square snout. What’s the deal with the postorbital region, does anyone know? Tom Holtz mentioned something about it a couple weeks back, is there anyone who knows about it and can say?

    The news about Garudimimus and Beishanlong being deinocheirids is neat! Maybe they have some weirdnesses left to find, especially in the latter case.

  6. Tim Williams says:

    So what do you think those “terrible hands” were used for? Defense? Hooking vegetation?

  7. luisvrey says:

    Both! I have no doubts about that… next piece of artwork will have to do something with the “defense” side, although sheer number of these colossus would have mede them virtually invincible to say…any Tarbosaurus attack.

  8. Pingback: Link to artistic rendering of Deinocheirus | Tremendously Impressive Morphologies

  9. Andrea Cau says:

    I may be wrong, but the woman in the photo is Kielan-Jaworowska (discoverer of the specimen in 1965), not Osmolska (who described the fossil in 1970).

  10. luisvrey says:

    Very well spotted! My mistake… Thank you for correcting. It is indeed Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska (not Osmolska) in awe of her discovery in 1965.

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