In addition to the official talks and posters at SVPCA there’s always various discussions and meet-ups to get people talking and the science discussed. This year however there was a bonus presentation by John Conway on ideas that might just be possible (if incredibly unlikely) for dinosaurs that we can’t disprove becuase we have only bones and tracks. In short, John was deliberately pushing into the territory of the deeply implausible and reasonably unreasonable reconstructions to give us a good laugh, but also make us think.
This was described by Mike Taylor as “Brilliant but retarded” and it was an apt description. The images were, as ever fro John, beautiful and evocative, but the ideas mental and would be ludicrous were it not for the fact that they are just sort of remotely possible and he knew full well what he was doing. Anyway here are a few of them. My thank to John for letting me use them and a reminder that these come courtesy of John’s Ontograph Studios.
First off, a near impossibly well camoflaged Majungasaurus:
Second here’s some monstrously fat Parasaurolophus. They rather remind me of sheep in their shape, though of course without the wool.
Moving towards sauropods, here’s a Camarasaurus (well, a young one) rolling in mud as a sunblock and general skin treatment plan. The point here is not so much the mud rolling, which seems pretty likely to me, but really could a sauropod get down and really roll around like that?
Next up, John’s tribute to a famous photo of a duck. Who knows, maybe Citipati really did have this:
And finally this picture of Tenontosaurus. As John notes, contrary to every other piece of palaeoart of this animal ever, at least some individuals probably spent some of their time not being torn aprat by a pack of Deinonychus.