Monday, April 5, 2010

Shonisaurus Modern Skeleton

Just bringing a discussion thread out of the comment sections and to everyone's attention (though do be sure to read through the comment sections here on ART Evolved, you'd be surprised the great stuff that comes up in them!).

In relation to Peter's fantastic summary of Ichthyosaurs in art post, commenter Neil brings up the excellent point that the huge Ichthyosaurs Shonisaurus is not as fat and deep chested as is typically reconstructed. This than raises the question what does it look like?

As I've been starting work on my own Shonisaurus, I thought I'd share the answer rather than leave the point nebulous. As I've managed to get my hands on the solution.

This is the modern take on Shonisaurus' skeleton, I believe by the Royal Tyrrell Museum's resident artist Donna Sloan (but I could be wrong). I acquired it from a plaque accompanying the fossils on display at the Tyrrell, and photoshoped it into this current form (the diagram itself is unmodified, I just removed it from the photo).

The only difference (as already well said by Neil) between this and the old skool model is the number of forward ribs. The old model was missing several and thus the chest started towards the middle of what we see in this diagram.

Hope that is a help to your Shonisaurus fans out there. Though hopefully we see a few other species than just this behemoth. Happy arting everyone!


davidmaas said...

I'd love to know more about how musculature fit on this beast. Fantastic to see a modern reconstruction.

Traumador said...

David- me too!

sadly i only have this skeletal diagram to go on. the mural they have accompanying this guy is TERRIBLE. it most definately was not a Donna Sloan piece (as she is incredible with fleshed out recreations)...

a comparison of their current mural and my top of the line Shonisaurus will become my center piece to when I present my portfolio to the Tyrrell (in a year or two... my current Shonisaurus isn't up to the task yet). I'm very surprised at how bad it is from an accuracy point of view actually (though it is very asthetically pleasing). My suspicion is that as they wanted the Shonisaurus put on display in a hurry they weren't too picky about the art, so long as it looked nice (plus there is no current marine reptile curator to run it by).

If i come across anymore scientific tidbits on this critter i'll let you know. i'm finding ichthyosaurs a VERY tough subject to find good accessible information on!