Crystal Palace assorted critters

Having covered the dinosaurs and pterosaurs and with the mammals to come, it’s time to break out the ‘left overs’. Perhaps a harsh term, but I don’t want this series running into double digits of posts so I had to fit them in somewhere, so sit back for some marine reptiles, crocs, and a few more distant relatives. It also makes a little sense as with the exception of the mosasaur, these are all grouped together on one side of the main island that houses the models. I don’t have much commentary here so I’ll simply stick up the photos I have and the identities of the various models, starting with the early amphibian Labyrinthodon above.






A second, smooth, Labyrinthodon

10 Responses to “Crystal Palace assorted critters”

  1. 1 mattvr 13/10/2011 at 12:14 pm

    Always thought those bony eyed Ichthyosaurs were cool.
    Could never understand how the people who made the illustrations and sculptures with those ‘shellfish eyes’ ever imagined the animal could see.

  2. 2 iljanieuwland 13/10/2011 at 2:27 pm

    It’s a shame to see how, not that long after being restored, the entire assemblage appears to be in quite bad shape.

  3. 3 Marc Vincent 13/10/2011 at 2:45 pm

    @Matt I’ve read that the ‘bony eyed’ look was deliberate; it was known that the animal wouldn’t have looked like that in life, but the models provide an ‘anatomy lesson’ (the bones of the manus are also visible on at least one of them, I believe).

    • 4 mattvr 13/10/2011 at 11:37 pm

      Hey Marc, thanks for that! Really interesting when you think about it in the context of the role of scientific illustration.

    • 5 Mark Robinson 14/10/2011 at 3:26 am

      Ah, perhaps that explains why the left flipper of the one in the 4th pic from the top (6716) has a pebbled texture? Thanks for that.

  4. 6 Roger (@jazzpangolin) 14/10/2011 at 8:18 am

    I think these are even cooler than the dinosaurs! I didn’t know so many other groups were represented by the models. Interesting about the sclerotic ring being an anatomy lesson, too.

  5. 8 Allen Hazen 16/10/2011 at 11:44 pm

    The beak of a typical Dicynodont has a turtlish look to it. Were they believed, when the Crystal palace models were made, to be closely related to turtles? The model seems to have a carapace!

  6. 10 Allen Hazen 19/10/2011 at 2:20 am

    Dave Hone– I don’t know about the history of the models, OR about the history of paleontological thinking about Dicynodonts, but I see (at W…, sorry to have to admit) that there is a clade of D. called “Emydopoidea,” which (to the degree that I can de-code paleontologi8cal Greek) means something like “looks-like-a-turtle-oidea.”

    The actual origins of turtles being… enigmatic…, and Dicynodonts being wildly aberrant synapsids (yes, that last is a subjective judgment– it just means they look LESS like what you’d expect on the basic Pelycosaur to Therian mammal axis than anything else (to me)), there may have been a period– Maybe even the period when the models were made, when they were thought to be closely related. … Not sure how to check that. The largest scale survey of Dicynodont matters I’ve read was Gillian King’s book, and I don’t remember a section on the history of their interpretation.

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