Saturday, November 16, 2013

Feathered Tyrants

It is almost 30 years since Robert Bakker referred to Tyrannosaurus rex as the "roadrunner from Hell". Some of us, like John McLaughlin, got the message right away. After all the intervening years, as the lines between "bird" and "dinosaur" have become blurrier and blurrier, the Zeitgeist is finally catching up. The first big "bird", below, is a recently discovered predecessor of T. rex, and definitely had feathers. The dramatic rendition below it reasonably shows the monster herself, as she might well have been. I suspect someone from the 1950s, when dinosaurs were lizards, would see these big birds as something out of science fiction.
First image from Science; second here.

1 comment:

Nathaniel Fitch said...

It's very encouraging to see the progress being made in paleoart today. Feathered dinosaurs are one of the important steps taken since the Paulian revolution, but beyond that lies depictions of these animals acting like animals, instead of monsters. Breaking the image of dinosaurs and extinct animals as movie monsters opens the door for even more interesting depictions of them, which we're getting a glimpse of in the All Yesterdays related artwork.