Hey kids, heres a fun fact about how speculative paleontologists and paleotographists work can be sometimes. A trend in paleoart is this thing call “shrink-wrapping” which is basically just adding some muscle and skin on top of bones to giv…e the animal a very close resemblence to the skeleton. But we tend to forget that there are lots of soft tissues that never fossilize such as fat and stuff. To illustrate what i mean heres a skeleton of an orca. One shows how someone would draw it with the mindset of a paleontographist and obviously on the bottom is how the animal really lookced like. Goes to show we’ll never ever ever ever ever EVER know what extinct animals REALLY looked like.
This is AMAZING, I think a lot about this. Baleen whales would be an even more convenient example: how the hell do you imagine a whale out of this thing http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Whale_skeleton.png
Here’s a modern animal shrink-wrap I haven’t seen before!
There are some species of Dinosaurs where we’re pretty certain what they looked like (Triceratops, Hadrosaurs, and pretty much all feathered dinosaurs in China). The reason is because we discovered naturally ‘mummified’ specimens of them (Triceratops and Hadrosaur). Using the data collected by them, we infer what the others of the same family might have looked like. Infer is the key word, we’re still really not certain. There could be so much we’re still missing. This kind of stuff just blows my mind every time.
Well, hear, hear. Just because we have natural skin impressions or molds or even preserved specimens, it doesn’t really give us the entire picture. Muscle and fat decay after death; a significant amount of bulk is lost. Just compare a normal cow to one that’s starved to death. For many others, we really have no idea at all. All we can do is trace around the skeleton, maybe fatten it here and there. The All Yesterdays movement is here to change that; it provides a radical new view of dinosaurs as dynamic creatures beyond the shrink wrap. Speaking of which, it also provides some counterexamples. For those of you who haven’t seen yet:
Good luck guessing.