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david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff
david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff

Mark Witton Pterosaurs; Preorder!

Well, the Brits may be leaving the European Union, but that won’t keep me from buying Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs in Euros. This one has been high on my list since I heard that it was in the works about a year ago. I am anxious to see how much of his blog tone he allows into the book. As far as I’m concerned, it can be all-in – I love the way Mark writes. I’ve thought about the various amounts of personal voice paleontologists use in their online writing and Mark is unique in writing out of the guy-next-door voice, but always and only as a build up to some scientific tidbit via a loopy derailment of that infamous train-of-thought, so that I always read with a joyful anticipation of that reveal.

He also is one of my favorite artists, so this book is MINE.

Mark Witton; Istiodactylus latidens

I love the way Mark Witton adds his artwork to his papers… this time a group of Istiodactylus feeding on a Stegosaurus corpse. It makes them feel like a coffee table book. Speaking of which… looking froward to that finally coming out.

Where’s the image, you ask? It’s in the paper. It wouldn’t feel right to post it here… that’d be like ripping the page out. The context also helps appreciate the amount of work that goes into such a reconstruction – including the plausibility of the scene:

“Istiodactylid skulls – and particularly that of I. latidens – appear to show a similar blend of carnivorous adaptations without any reinforcement for predation, suggesting that the scavenging hypothesis is the most compelling habit for these pterosaurs suggested to date”