Even Hadrosaurus likes a belly-scratch now and then

21 08 2007

Scratch
From Joseph Smit’s From Nebula to Man (1905)

In case some of you don’t recognize it, the diminutive theropod is the dinosaur then known as “Laelaps” (=Dryptosaurus), probably attacking a rather large and goofy-looking Hadrosaurus. Being that both dinosaurs have been found in New Jersey from the same time period early on in the history of paleontology, they were a perfect match to feature together in art, at least until the famous Tyrannosaurus/Triceratops duo became established. Also note how this particular artist essentially lifted Charles R. Knight’s design for Laelaps (see the banner for this blog), which seemed to be the style at the time. One of these days I’ll have to collect the various artistic depictions of Dryptosaurus together on here, the fragmentary nature of the skeleton giving different artists some very different ideas as to what my favorite theropod from my home state looked like.


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7 responses

21 08 2007
Zach Miller

I believe the exact identity of Laelaps (Dryptosaurus) is still a bit of a mystery. I’ve read that it was a basal theropod, early tyrannosaur, megalosaur, and even prosauropod. Go figure. Good picture, though–that hadrosaur looks like something out of a Disney movie.

21 08 2007
laelaps

Zach; the rather fragmentary remains make identifying Dryptosaurus troublesome, that’s for sure. Lots of people out there (at least illustrators) see it as being close to the maniraptorans, while others consider it a basal tyrannosaurid. I fall in with the latter camp myself (and if I remember correctly Holtz’s analysis in the 2nd edition of The Dinosauria included Dryptosaurus in with the tyrannosaurids), and I’ve heard tell of some work being done towards making this connection. Still, whenever I go to Inversand or Big Brook I hope to find something, anything, from this dinosaur, but the remains are pretty rare. Hopefully something more will turn up, sooner or later, to help figure out the position a bit more accurately. Given the fact that Dryptosaurus is from my own state and the recent discovery of Appalachiosaurus I wonder what other east-coast tyrannosaurids might be waiting to be discovered, that is if they’re not covered over/destroyed by suburban sprawl first.

21 08 2007
Julia

Looks not so much like he’s scratching his belly as kicking him in the nuts! Or am I just now obsessed with mythical dinosaur scrota after my husband’s uncle made his first foray into palaeontology?

21 08 2007
Zach Miller

Good observation, Julia. Reminds me of a particular sketch in Robot Chicken…

22 08 2007
Sarda Sahney

I haven’t been around a while so I guess the new blog layout may not be so new anymore, but anyway, it looks great!

22 08 2007
peacay

Wow, that copyrightexpired repository is very cool. I can’t quite believe it hasn’t been posted around hardly at all. Cheers!

23 08 2007
Chris

Clearly, that is dinosaur kung-fu.

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