Stop! Turn back!

This story about feathered dinosaurs is really good, and it also included the video below.

As the little man was strolling along past the dinosaurs that were getting bigger and bigger, I felt the urge to tell him to stop…starting about 30 seconds in.

It really should have ended with something huge stepping on him. The suspense was building up and up and was not released.


  1. says

    It never made sense that dinosaurs were always portrayed as being dull greys and greens. There has never been any reason to think there wasn’t a huge amount of colour variation in them.

  2. says

    Woooow. Imagine that in a photo-realistic animation with lifelike movement and gait. Perhaps a bit too expensive to make, even if it’s about dinosaurs?

  3. says

    Very impressive, but misleading. It compares a human to the largest dinosaurs. It seems not to be in time order, as the last ones are Jurassic, with some Cretaceous ones earlier. Thing is, there were also small dinosaurs around all along. And if it was in temporal order, the human would spend a lot of the later part walking past flocks of sparrows plus the occasional duck or crow.

  4. jd142 says

    The illustrations reminded me a bit of Darren Naish’s art. Which reminded me that if you like the non-grey, non-brown, non-green dinosaurs, you should definitely check out his book “All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals.” It’s about non-standard dinosaur reconstructions, but based on what we know from fossils and what we know about extant animals. The cover shows 3 protoceratops in a tree. After all, if we didn’t see with our own eyes, we would never reconstruct goat fossils with them in trees, so why not protoceratops in trees.

    Another good one is the reconstruction of a cow using the same techniques used on dinosaurs.

  5. edmond says

    I’d like to see one with the dinosaurs in temporal order, from earliest to latest.

  6. taraskan says

    The illustrations are wonderful, and sorry to nitpick, but the article’s author lost me at claiming the ancestor of Ornithischia and Saurischia had feathers. That’s a tremendous claim that is not yet backed up by evidence, although one day it might be. A science writer should have the integrity to present these exciting ideas as they are and not jump the gun like that, even if it’s so specific a distinction it is unlikely anyone will call them out on it, and I just wish they were more careful. Here is a basic outline of the claim if anyone is interested.

    There are currently three known Ornithiscian taxa with one specimen each bearing elongated filaments of 10-25 cm on certain parts of the body (they have always been absent on feet and lower legs, and on one of the specimens absent from base to tip of the tail). These filaments appear to have been more rigid than hair, but still flexible, and not very thickly distributed. On Prum & Brush’s scale of feather evolution, if these filaments are indicative of a body covering and that covering is analogous to fully-feathered dinos, they would have to be “type I”. Type V represents a fully-formed feather as found in Eumaniraptora through living birds. Type I feathers are thought to appear on all Coelurosaurs that are not Compsognathids until Maniraptora, with types II-IV occurring within Maniraptora until Eumaniraptora. It is important to understand that aside from these three Ornithiscian specimens, no feathers of any type have been found outside of Tetanurae. If Type I feathers are found on Ornithischian taxa, that could eventually suggest it as a common characteristic, but this alone is not indicative of feathers on the ancestor of Ornithischia and Saurischia, as it could be an example of convergence – where a development occurs independently in two or more taxa. Convergence happens all the time – flight itself is one example, and 3 out of 300 where the characteristic is not congruent even among the three, is not enough for a claim. It’s even happened with integumentary appendages. Longisquama, a Triassic amniote unrelated to dinosaurs, had long follicles of some sort along its spine, and nobody’s going to suggest it as evidence that all Archosauromorpha had follicle coverings. Another important issue is Sauropodomorpha, the group closest to Therapoda, has so far not been found to have any kind of covering, but if some Ornithischians had type I fur, we would certainly expect it to be rife in Sauropodomorpha.

    Even if you do get type I feathers as far back as the author claims, it’s also a bit ridiculous to call Orthnischians “bird-like” because of it. They lack many much more obvious characteristics, such as the hollow bone structure found in Theropoda. There is even much irony here in their name: “ornithiscia” so-called because of their backwards-pointing pubic bone, like a bird’s, which is yet another example of convergence (Saurischians’ pubic bone pointed forwards, which became downward in Maniraptora and finally backward in Aves).

  7. numerobis says

    Joe Felsenstein@6: the video shows the dinosaurs going by in size order. That’s why you see the small ones first, and they just keep getting bigger.

    I agree that seeing them in time order would be more fun.

  8. starskeptic says

    I would not be walking toward whatever all these animals are trying to get away from…

  9. says

    At the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum they have a full Diplodocus skeleton on display. It’s mind-boggling, the scale those creatures grew to. Saying I barely made it up to it’s knee simply doesn’t do justice to the overall massiveness of those creatures… and I probably over-estimated my own height. Imagine seeing not just the skeleton but one fully fleshed out. Wow.

  10. robro says

    Joel — I thought it was size ordered with the smallest first. The scale of the human figure kept shrinking so that they could fit the dinosaurs in the picture.

  11. Trickster Goddess says

    It’s fascinating to see long, horizontal animals walking along on two legs, especially the large ones.

  12. marcoli says

    Pretty good! The bizarre Spinosaurus goes by at 4:41. Amazing how depictions of it has changed, and its completely different from the one shown in the Jurassic Park movie.

  13. Rich Woods says

    @Peter Morris #9:

    Could you get Ken Ham to explain the daily feeding/cleaning schedule?

    Let’s just pause for a moment and contemplate Ken Ham being that deep in shit.

  14. woozy says

    I realize it was the exact opposite of the intent, but the musculature and marching manly gait of the figure defiantly going in the opposite direction, and the driving heroic tempo of the music really gave the whole thing a “march of progress” vibe with the marching man as the center of focus. Maybe if the man just stood there watching the dinosaurs go by…

  15. Cuttlefish says

    I want to include all the versions of Godzilla (who varied tremendously in size from movie to movie).

  16. anbheal says

    Boy, that sure is a lot of selection pressure for neck ant tail!!!

    @12 starskeptic — you win De Internetz Of The Day!