The Ceratopsians from Aldama…

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Our Mexican dinosaur spree continues! Presenting a herd of mid-sized chasmosaurine ceratosians from the region of Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico indicates that there were more species relative to Nasutoceratops. The Museo del Mammut in the northern state of Chihuahua has tried this reconstruction, but with the clear exception of the frill and some other cranial fragments,  the museum present us here with a charming chimaera concocted with various unrelated dinosaur remains!

Ceratópsido Aldama So after working with René HernándezAngel Ramírez has set up and tried to reconstruct the animal based on its Nasutoceratops affinities… although it is not known, it probably had no nose horn and, just as in Yehuecauhceratops, the frill shows parietals that are wider than the squamosal.

Centrosaurino Aldama 2016According the fossils around it, it was hunted by small tyrannosaurs with Daspletosaurus or Albertosaurus characteristics and there were big tree trunks, since the region wasn’t as coastal as the others I have been depicting. Yet another window into the fragmentary, but abundant, fossil material from Mexico.

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Posted in ceratopsians, Mexican Prehistory, Museum Displays, Ornithischians, Theropods, tyrannosaurs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Proud to present: Dinosaur rEvolution. Secrets of Survival, The Motion Picture. Live in Tasmania!

DSC06702Please click in the links…  Gondwana Studios Exhibitions

The Dinosaur rEvolution – Secrets of Survival Video by the Royal Society of Tasmania

Things are evolving very quickly… these videos  are just the starting point… and there will be more in the future with revised, added material and  a whole bunch of  revamped, updated information.

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Sneak preview: Dinosaur rEvolution embarks in its first tour!

The City of Albury is a local government area in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia DinosaurRevolution at Albury City and it has become home of the debut of  the efforts of Gondwana Studios and myself in this very ambitious project… and that might be calling to your city one of these days!DSC06663

It has take us two years and (specially) the enormous efforts and dedication of Peter Norton,  that has also entrusted me as curator and illustrator of this project… you will never see the chronicle of the evolution of dinosaur skin the same way anywhere!  From  sclaes,protofeathers, to quills, to spikes, to feathers and the arms race that only one group of dinosaurs would win!

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We have gone to painstaking efforts to gather as many notorious specimens as possible. Unfortunately the venue space hasn’t allowed to mount all the specimens and have them in the order I originally envisioned. But we do have casts of Heterodontosaurus,  Archaeopteryx, AnchiornisSinosauropteryx, Caudipteryx, Confuciusornis, Microraptor and the famous quilled psittacosaur…DSC06671DSC06673

And direct from our friends in  Lyme Regis, a cast of the most complete Scelidosaurus to date !DSC06674DSC06676

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My ambition was to have life-size murals together with the wonderful specimens specially mounted and artfully finished by Peter Norton,  but we will have to wait until the next time. Still it looks wonderful.  Peter managed to include all these ceratopsian skulls , Saichania (including the tail club)Oviraptor, a Velociraptor hunting Avimimus, the arms of Deinocheirus and even Nothronychus…  and of course the tour-de-force, the peak of the arms struggle, the final collision of Ornithischia and Saurischia: Tarbosaurus vs. Talarurus! Only the descendants of one group would survive until now.

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But what is really a novelty of this exhibition is its focus: we are aiming to show wider audiences a novel approach to understand the evolution of the Dinosauria and the triumph of one of its branches thanks to taking to the air using its peculiar skin structures: the birds’ feathers.

The exhibition is available for hire, with the potential of of using much more material  depending on the space (Including Pachycephalosaurs, Stegosaurs and even more Therizinosaurs and Ankulosaurs) … For more information  please do contact Peter Norton at  Gondwana Studios  for a PDF leaflet… or myself. Spread the word!

Expect more news  (and better pictures) about it in the very near future.

Posted in Archaeopteryx, Birds, ceratopsians, Deinocheirids, Dinosaur Models, Dinosaur rEvolution, maniraptora, Museum Displays, Ornithischians, ornithomimosaurs, oviraptorosaurs, pachycephalosaurs, Raptors, therizinosaurs, Theropods, tyrannosaurs, Uncategorized, velociraptor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A new take on Yehuecauhceratops.

Luis V. Rey Updates Blog

Yehue copy.jpgThe danger of having extremely fragmentary dinosaur remains like the ones found in Mexico is that they are  bound to different interpretations… and if we are not careful we can end up in opposite directions when it is time to reconstruct the animals. Meet my own take to a male and a female Yehuecauhceratops mudei, the  now famous  mid-sized ceratopsian from the Late Cretaceous Coahuila, Mexico.

I have been aided by Angel Ramírez in the reconstruction. As you can see I have also increased and bloated the size of the nostrils according to the latest trends of research… the space is massive so it is justified!

We followed closely the very fragmentary remains of the skull (specially the frill). And this is the final result… It appears to have been recognised by (among others) Peter Dodson as a closer relative to  Nasutoceratops than to Chasmosaurus and the model used…

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A new take on Yehuecauhceratops.

Yehue copy.jpgThe danger of having extremely fragmentary dinosaur remains like the ones found in Mexico is that they are  bound to different interpretations… and if we are not careful we can end up in opposite directions when it is time to reconstruct the animals. Meet my own take to a male and a female Yehuecauhceratops mudei, the  now famous  mid-sized ceratopsian from the Late Cretaceous Coahuila, Mexico.

I have been aided by Angel Ramírez in the reconstruction. As you can see I have also increased and bloated the size of the nostrils according to the latest trends of research… the space is massive so it is justified!

We followed closely the very fragmentary remains of the skull (specially the frill). And this is the final result… It appears to have been recognised by (among others) Peter Dodson as a closer relative to  Nasutoceratops than to Chasmosaurus and the model used for the frill is more like  than the aforementioned or even better: Avaceratops. So those were the main  references to follow.  The main characters are a reduced squamosal with three undulations (maybe bases for hooking keratinous display structures), a rugose lateral bump and expanded parietals.Yehuecauhceratops-2.png

Yehuecauhceratops mudei NEW ver-2 with skeleton.jpg  Here is his own most recent restoration of  the skeleton by Angel Ramírez. I specially thank him for his help and assistance… and allowing me the artistic license of including a flock of ornithomimids in the background (they are not flocking this way this time!)… together with the de-rigueur hadrosaurs .

This restoration may change in the future  once again, but for the time being this was the best we could come with.

UPDATE. An extra note requested by Angel Ramírez: his reconstruction used the silhouette and skeleton drawing of Scott Hartman of Avaceratops and modified it in what concerns the skull,  so that it looks more like a nasutoceratopsine.

The interpretation is based on the description of Rivera-Sylva, Hendrick and Dodson, 2016. A centrosaurine (dinosauria: ceratopsia) from the Aguja Formation (Late Campanian) of Northern Coahuila, Mexico.

Posted in ceratopsians, hadrosaurs, Mexican Prehistory, ornithomimosaurs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tyrannosaurus rex in Mexico?

Trex Mex copy.jpgCoastal Laramidia ( Late Cretaceous).  A couple of T. exes are feasting from a “Sabinosaurio” carcass, while several azdharxhids queue for their turn… Impossible? Not according to Dr.  Claudia Serrano Brañas  that after reading my comments in the previous blog about Totlmimus, through personal communication, graciously gave me this link and comments as  information.

Tyrannosaurid teeth from the Lomas Coloradas Formation, Cabullona Group (Upper Cretaceous) Sonora, México

“Regarding the comment of the tyrannosaurids that were present in the Cabullona Basin of Sonora, my colleagues and I published a paper in 2014 concerning the identification of Tyrannosaurus rex in the Lomas Coloradas Formation, which is the top formation of the Cabullona Group.”

“With regard to the information you request, I leave you with the following comments: When working with isolated teeth, great care must be taken when assigning them to a particular family or genre, as there is a great morphological similarity between many groups Of theropods. In the case of tyrannosaurids, this happens frequently, since their teeth are very similar to each other. For this reason, in addition to the anatomical descriptions of the specimens, different types of statistical analyses using quantitative parameters have now begun to be used in order to discriminate between taxa so that the specimens can be assigned to a group or genus of theropods in particular. In our case, we measured our specimens and compared them with a database that included 342 teeth of different types of theropods and precisely through the analysis of the combination of these variables, we were able to establish that our specimens corresponded to the genus Tyrannosaurus.
On the other hand, I wanted to point out that we are currently working with other teeth of the Cabullona Basin in Sonora, but this time they are from another formation of the same Geological Group (Cabullona Group). These new teeth, although also of tyrannosaurids, are very different from those found in the Lomas Coloradas formation, which would indicate that in addition to having Tyrannosaurus in that area, there were also other types of tyrannosaurids. As soon as I get more information about it, I’ll let you know.”

 So there you have it: Although the remains (mainly  teeth) come undoubtedly from tyrannosaurids, some are diagnostic of T. rex… although there might be some doubters (ready for it Dave Hone?)! It makes complete sense to locate Tyrannosaurus rex in Mexico too. It shared the same environment as the “Sainosaurio” and Tototlmimus.

So understanding that most, if not all of you, need something to cheer you up for having to turn off your TV today (and avoid a really bad remake of the Twilight Zone),  here’s something factual for your solace from this  Blog. An entertaining  beginning of the year no doubt.

Posted in Dinosaurs, Mexican Prehistory, ornithomimosaurs, Pterosaurs, tyrannosaurs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

… and to end an eventful year: Mexican Ostrich dinosaurs!

totlmimus-copySuddenly I realised that I overlooked this piece of my Mexican Dinosaurs series. Meet a displaying pair of Tototlmimus packardensis (Serrano-Brañas et al 2016) from Cuenca Cabullona, Sonora some 72 million years ago. An obvious relative of the Canadian Ornithomimus, it was indeed pretty robust 4-meter ornithomimosaur, with stouter and longer legs and arms that its cousin, according to Angel Ramirez.

I got the inspiration for this piece in an old painting of two ostriches displaying… the shared anatomical features  might have lead to  coincidental behaviour! Incorporated is the newly discovered feathery distribution in ornithomimids. The environment is again coastal and  shared by some hadrosaurs (like the included, still unnamed “Sabinosaurus”), ceratopsians and tyrannosaurs… one of which could have been the famous Tyrannosaurus rex according to some footprints (but this needs evidence for definitive confirmation).sabino

Thanking everybody for their support, specially our friends in the national Museum of Natural History in Denmark, Mexico’s Universum and UNAM, Spain, Australia’s Gondwana Studios, Italy, France, StoneCo and Silver Plume and the many fans in the U.S., Bristol  and London, that’s all from me in this eventful 2016 from here, “springtime London”! For the record: Twelve degrees Celsius the 25th of December! This reminds me a crispy, clear winter day in Barcelona more than 35 years ago. It was bitterly cold but nevertheless, somehow in the sun you felt the warmth of its rays (something that never happened to us before)… I was with a friend ands we joked: “I wonder if that’s what the dinosaurs felt just before they went extinct… they looked at the sky and felt that something was different… 

To counter all the state of denial, madness and irrationality of the world as it is today, there’s nothing better than Science… if two Stegosaurus were capable of successfully mating (carefully!) everything positive is possible with good will and determination… the only things humans need to survive is common sense and wisdom…even if more often than not we glorify our lack of both of them!

Posted in Dinosaur rEvolution, Mexican Prehistory, Natural History Museum of Denmark, NHM Events, Ornithischians, ornithomimosaurs, tyrannosaurs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments