Thursday, 11 November 2010

The book everyone has been talking about; Archosauria A new look at old Dinosaurs!

I recently received my copy of John McLoughlin's book via the post. It is a very interesting book published in 1979 and the illustrations are made by the author. I always love it when authors illustrate their own books because it allows them to get their ideas across in a more direct way.

What I believe is really monumantal about this publication is the fact that his dinosaurs were very modern by 1979 standards. The Theropods walked with horizontally held backs and had their tails held clear off the ground. Even more remarkable is that his reconstructions of Ceolurosaurs all feature not the scaly critters of old lore, but active feathery birdy creatures!!!!!: In the 1970's!!!!!!! I am not sure if he is still alive, but if he was around to see the discovery of feathered dinosaurs he must have felt so satisfied.

The book itself is not an average dinosaur book. It does go through the basic sort of things general dinosaur books do, but also talks about metabolism, crocodile hearts and various other interesting biological ideas about dinosaurs.

The main thing about the book has to be the drawings. They do look a bit strange compared to modern restorations. The Dromaeosaurus in my opinion looks fantastic. The face looks somewhat human in a bit of a disturbing way and the positioning of its legs does not look right, but the expression on the face is fantastic.

The Tyrannosaurus looks as if he has been reconstructed with gums covering his teeth as in an alligator, giving it a rather peaceful character, despite the fact that it is chewing on the remains of what looks like a Hadrosaur.

Another interesting reconstruction is that of his Triceratops, which has a frill connected to its shoulders by a sheet of muscle, giving it an indistinct neck. This idea never caught on, but is an out of the box way of thinking about these animals; at least he was right about the feathered Ceolurosaurs. Yet again the expression of the Triceratops is almost irresistably adorable.
Apparently he has also done a book on Therapsids! Yay; one of my most favorite groups of animals after Theropod Dinosaurs. How many popular books have ever been written on Therapsids? Well; I'm getting it. I think its called Therapsids A new look at old Synapsids. He hints to its publication in Archosauria.

1 comment:

  1. There is definitely something McLoughlin-ey in the water these days. Not really surprising because this book is deeply strange and fascinating. I've added your review to the list in my review here: