Friday, March 8, 2013

Sauropods in a Cave... Scientific Conjecture or just Reality inspired Fantasy?

The boy's over on SVPoW posted this lovely picture by the very talented Brian Engh (click for his website) of some Diamantinasaurus in a cave.

By  Brian Engh 
It is Brian's contribution to one of the All Yesterday's contests out there (I'm not sure which one).

I love the piece. It is visually stunning, well composed, and just overall nice to look at.

Where I'm taking issue is whether this piece should be remotely taken serious as scientific palaeo-art. As to me SVPoW is a beacon of scientific standards. They endorse this, so to me that says it has some scientific salt (which the Sauropods in the pic are now licking :P )

The issue I have is there is no evidence what's so ever that Sauropods could or would want to go into a cave (that alone one filled with glow worms... which by they're very nature live in very dark dark places), and so to me this is a lovely piece. However it is just a pretty fantasy. There is certainly a place for fantasy palaeo-art (Flying Trilobites, flying Trilobites), but should we be holding it up as scientifically accurate?

I need to overcome my palaeo apathy/burnout and finish my All Yesterday's post, as this is an example of why I sort of fear this new movement. I think it is a push TOO much away from conservative palaeo-art. We start to run into the realm of just making stuff up. Which to me this piece is entirely.

However rather than revamp the whole argument here, and steal their thunder for posting it first, head over to this SVPoW post and join the discussion with your thoughts and take on this piece and the Yesterday's movement.


comandantedavid said...

Without "reality inspired fantasy," you can be sure very little science would ever have been accomplished. Squeeze out the open-ended creative imagining, and you have technicians or engineers, not scientists.

Craig Dylke said...

Well said comandantedavid...

That said this above piece doesn't even have reality on its side as far as a Sauropod Dinosaur inside a glowworm cave.

There is absolutely no fossil evidence what's so ever Sauropods went into caves, that alone ones dark and deep enough to support a large glow worm population.

When I say reality they've taken some very unrelated "real" facts about modern animals and claimed they apply to Dinosaurs without a shred of evidence Dinosaurs actually did any of it.

That is fantasy. It is just trying to have a real flavour as it were.

That isn't science. Which where I'm having the issue.

Though for the full discussion you need to click on the link.