Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Upcoming Palaeo-art Project

After a rather long hiatus (at least 3 years overall) from palaeoart, taking on a moonlighting "career" in the board game industry, I've (Craig) decided to travel back into deep time recreation.

I'm looking into making a series of little educational animations about Dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters as they behave/appear in movies vs. what we know in the fossil record.

As this is just for fun I have no strict deadline set. However I'll post some of my progress up here if people are interested.

I'm also looking for ideas on topics. So far I have (thus the previews posted):
  • Could T-Rex run as fast as a jeep? (the answer being no)
  • Could a "Pteradactyl" carry you off for lunch? (answer no, no again for the actual meant Pteranodon, and worse a Quetzalcoatlus would just eat you for lunch)
  • Could a Mosasaur eat a great White Shark? (answer only a unrealistically large one)
I want the topics posed as questions, and typically shaped or informed by movies/TV show depictions of prehistoric life. Adding an extra dimension of difficulty, I don't want to just cover carnivores (in particular theropods), though I'll do several I'm sure. I just want some variety in what I'm animating/modelling.

I'm not aiming for JP level production values, so this is my intended style and level of detail. Think 3D style Hanna Barbera (hopefully with better writing :P)


Gray N Stanback said...

An average great white shark is about 15 feet long, and a large mosasaur like Tylosaurus could reach abut 43 feet long. So yes, a mosausaur could theoretically eat a great white shark, although it would have to bite it into multiple pieces instead of swallowing it whole.

Craig Dylke said...

Ah but there are two problems with your criticsm...

1. Tylosaurus (and Russellosaurines in general) don't have teeth that could bite anything into pieces. They have purely (and perfectly) adapted pin and trap conical teeth. Meaning they are fantastic at capturing and immobilizing prey. However they would be rubbish for tearing apart anything. (Mosasaurus proper being from the Mosasaurine branch, might have been more up for ripping things apart, as their teeth start to specialize beyond simple cones. A large Prognathodon certainly could have... but Prog's appear to not have hit the mega Mosasaur size range and even still...)

2. I said I was taking on movies, and a certain blockbuster last summer depicted a Mosasaur (of some kind) gulping a great white in a single easy mouthful... so either the filmmakers wasted time emphasising the fact this was a great white, when it was supposed to be a small one (thus any small shark would have done)... or their Mosasaur was bigger than a Blue Whale (which based on the end fight of Jurassic World, it was, as it was many times bigger then the Made-up-osaurus which itself was larger then 43 feet!)

Gray N Stanback said...

The Jurassic World mosasaur, however, is identified as a Mosasaurus on the official site.

Craig Dylke said...

Okay, but now you're moving your own goal posts ;)

A. You brought up Tylosaurus first, not me :P

B. It still eats the Great White in one bite... and is shown in several other shots that clearly indicate it is Blue Whale or greater sized (the worst shot is the underwater audience... it is clearly HUGE)

So I still stand by my stance. Jurassic World is the problem... There is plenty of awesome Mosasaur science that could be done, and still make an awesome monster film... no we need a Godzilla sized sea monster

Gray N Stanback said...

I just brought up Tylosaurus as an example of a large mosasaur. I didn't mean to imply that it was THE mosasaur in Jurassic World.
This tumblr post:
illustrates how the mosasaur in the movie is actually about 60 feet long, but appears larger through forced perspective. That's still bigger than any known fossil mosasaur, but still within the realm of possibility.

Craig Dylke said...

Well that post is wrong. Go back and watch the film. (Plus without some serious math I'm dubious of the methodology in you're provided link)

Frustratingly the mosasaur changes size shot to shot. The worst instance being the part where the audience lowers to watch it underwater in the tank. It is clearly much bigger then 60 feet in that shot

You'll also note that when the mosasaur eats the indominus, the mosasaurs skull is roughly twice the length of the indominus head. If the mosasaur were ONLY 60 feet its head shouldn't be overly larger then a full sized theropod skull (longer yes, but certainly not taller... And by no means not big enough to chomp down so firmly on a theropods torso like we see)