REASON 22 TO VISIT #ULTIMATEDINOS: THE SOUTHERN RAPTORS!
For all intensive purposes, raptors are mostly northern dinosaurs. The famous ones like Velociraptor, Deinonychus and Utah Raptor all come from the north. It’s really only been in the last 15 years that southern raptors have been unearthed. It’s also probably these two, Austroraptor and Buitreraptor, that are the most famous. And of course, we have them on display at Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana.
On a quick pass, these two dromaeosaurids, seem quite similar to the raptors many of us are familiar with, especially if we saw Jurassic Park. But if you look deeper, you’ll see differences. Both raptors have conical teeth, instead of the serrated terrors of their northern cousins. Both also have elongated skulls, ending with very long snouts. You’ll probably also notice that Austroraptor’s arms are smaller than normal, and that Buitreraptor’s “killer” claw is smaller than normal. This would be due to a different environment, different prey and just a different style of living.
Raptors, as we’ve increasingly come to understand were covered in feathers, and in similar ways that birds are today. What I love most about this part of #ultimatedinos is how strangely familiar I feel with it. Maybe this doesn’t make any sense, but once you imagine the feathers on these wonderful creatures they start to become more normal, not to say they’re not still awesome, but that they seem more “real”.
Dinosaurs are so strange and different from most things we see today, but as we learn more about the relationship between the birds of today and their theropod ancestors of the past, and discover more feathers in the palaeontological record, the way in which I see these animals change. No longer do I see scaly creatures, but fully feathered bird cousins. I more easily identify with them. #whatever, I don’t even think that made sense
- I go into detail on Austroraptor here. Includes some sweeeeeet behind the scenes photos and a quick clip on how he was built.
- Above you’ll see another two Julius Csotonyi colouring sheets to add to your collection (gotta catch ‘em all). What I l like most is the feather detail. A lot has changed in palaeontology over the years, and palaeo art along with it.
- Check out the final photo, and see the incredible size difference between these two dinosaurs! It’s strange that two of the few raptors found from the Southern hemisphere, also represent the extremes in size.
Have you visited? What’s your favourite part of #ultimatedinos?
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