Friday, 27 June 2008

Art #3: Three Thyreophorans

"Three Thyreophorans"
Coloured pencil illustration, June 2008
Adapted from Luis Rey's illustrations in Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-To-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages

Top left: Scelidosaurus harrisonii Owen, 1861
Scelidosauridae; Thyreophora; Ornithischia; Sauropsida; Chordata
From Early Jurassic England & U.S.A.

Top right: Edmontonia longiceps Sternberg, 1928
Nodosauridae; Ankylosauria; Thyreophora; Ornithischia; Sauropsida; Chordata
From Late Cretaceous North America

Bottom: Huayangosaurus taibaii Dong, Tang & Zhou, 1982
Huayangosauridae; Stegosauria; Thyreophora; Ornithischia; Sauropsida; Chordata
From Middle Jurassic China

Wow... spiky spiky spiky. Quite fun to draw and colour actually.

A little explanation of the thyreophorans: this is a group of ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaurs that were exclusively plant-eating (as far as we can tell). There were two main groups: the Stegosauria consisting of the well known Stegosaurus and its relatives, all with plated backs and some with unusual spikes on their shoulders and hips; and the Ankylosauria, being the much more heavily armoured "tanks", some with clubbed tails that could (and did) crack bone. But the Scelidosaurus and its relatives Scutellosaurus and Emausaurus didn't quite fit in with either of these two groups, despite clearly being thyreophorans. They may have been ancestral to the more derived stegosaurians and ankylosaurians.

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