Wednesday, 9 February 2011
I photographed this display at the Charmouth Heritage Centre whilst briefly back in Dorset a few years ago and have just "dug up" the old photos. Here we see a cast of the almost complete fossil remains of a Scelidosaurus, painstakingly recovered over several years by professional fossil collector David Sole. Scelidosaurus has been referred to as "the Charmouth Dinosaur" and all 9 specimens I know of come from marine deposits at that same locality. Wait a minute ... multiple remains of a single genus of Dinosaur from marine deposits at one locality? Yes. It would seem these animals, or their bodies, were swept out to sea and subsequently buried in near-shore sediments. They may have inhabited a coastal or estuarine environment and were swept out by tsunami or flash floods - perhaps even in a single event (unlikely as that sounds). Preserved impressions show that the skin between all those bony osteoderms consisted of a hide of small and pebbly reptilian scales. A cast of this specimen recently went on display at St. George Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Johnson Farm, Utah U.S.A., which should help raise awareness of this fascinating animal.
Here are some images from my "Dinosaurs are here!" exhibition at Midtsønderjylland Museum. Most are snapshots borrowed from friends, I simply didn´t manage to find time for some more considered photography.
This display-case contained some of the Mesozoic vertebrate fossils I´ve found in England over the years, a polocanthid vertebra and osteoderms at top left, centere is an ornithopod foot-cast, top right an iguanodontid vertebra, distal femur and a pedal phalange. Lower left is a cast of the "thumb-claw" of Baryonyx and to its right some Gorgosaurus teeth from Alberta and Montana.
Some of the "tools of the trade", an unstarted Shane Foulkes 1/18 Stegosaurus kit, a cleaned and prepped Charlie McGrady 1/10 Albertosaurus kit ready for glueing and puttying and a finished Shane Foulkes 1/18 Parasaurolophus.
There was a weekend model-making demonstration and activities for children holidaying from school.
As well as some of my (all too many!) w.i.p´s, I took along my cast of the skull of Baryonyx, BMNH R9951, and did some puttying on the joins of my life-size Gorgosaurus head, beautifully sculpted by Charlie McGrady.
Below, the niches in the wall of the corridor housed some of my completed scale-models.
There was a shallow display case with some of my smaller scale models. Below you can see a Max Salas Iguanodon and a Greg Wenzel Lambeosaurus in 1/35 with a Jorge Blanco 1/24 Centrosaurus in the foreground.
This is a svelte John Rader 1/18 Baryonyx.
My baby Tyrannosaurus rex seemed to positively glow in it´s niche. More cute than scientifically accurate.
This is probably more "true-to-life" ... Two feathered T. rex chicks squabbling to establish a pecking order. The fossilised remains of many tyrannosaur skulls exhibit partially- or fully- healed scrapes and puncture marks from such "face-biting", so these conflicts were not always fatal.
I painted the strange cranial crest of my 1/24 Alonso Studios Cryolophosaurus in cold, icy blue-greens and white as a visual pun on the name of the animal and also where it´s remains were found. I´m so pleased with the way the arms are tucked up against and into the chest on this sculpt.
It was usually the children who pointed out the little turtle in my diorama featuring Shane Foulkes´ 1/18 Iguanodon. One of the more senior guests was kind enough to enquire if it as me who had stuffed all these animals! That made the whole show worth-while.
One of my personal favourites, Jorge Blanco´s 1/18 Kritosaurus led to some interesting discussions on incubation and parental care among dinosaurs and "how similar they were to birds", which itself led on to discussions of how birds are dinosaurs just as bats are mammals. Good stuff!
My re-paint of David Krentz´s 1/12 Styracosaurus looking very haughty.
Just outside the hall containing Miocene fossil whales were some large dislpay-cases containing some of the casts of tyrannosaur specimens i´ve acquired from various museums.
Above, casts of the arm, foot and skull of the not quite fully grown Gorgosaurus, ROM 1247 from the Royal Ontario Museum, dwarf my 1/18 Charlie McGrady Albertosaurus.
Here´s two of the feathered Gorgosaurus "chicks" I commissioned Sean Cooper to sculpt for me way back in 2006. Beside them, my cast of the elegant skull of "Nanotyrannus lancensis", CMNH 7541, which may (or may not) actually be the remains of a very young Tyrannosaurus rex.
And, to round up with, a display-case re-inforcing the point about the close relationship between Dinosaurs and birds. On the left, a cast of the beautiful Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx above a skull and claw of Deinonychus antirrhopus. On the right, my 1/10 scale Bruce Bowman feathered Velociraptor mongoliensis above a skull and claw of this animal. In the centre, a taxidermy specimen of a Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, above my little vignette portraying the enigmatic tiny feathered Dinosaur Scansoriopteryx doing all it can not to be noticed amongst the litter of a forest-floor.
This was to be the "streamer" for the "Dinosaurs are here!" exhibition, set out along-side the road that leads past the Museum at Gram Lergrav
Local authorities wouldn´t allow the Museum to use it, deeming it a "potential distraction to traffic" on the major road which cuts through the forest where the new Museum building is situated. Duh!