Posts tagged archosaur
Posts tagged archosaur
Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs: beautiful, lavish, scholarly and comprehensive
by Darren Naish
I assume you’re here for the Tetrapod Zoology. If so, you’ll have been excited and intrigued by one of 2013’s best tetrapod-themed books: Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs, an enormous, lavishly illustrated encyclopedia of all things pterosaur. Scholarly but highly readable, fully referenced throughout, and featuring hundreds of excellent photos, diagrams and beautiful, colour life restorations, this volume is a must-own, whatever your interest in pterosaurs. And, let’s face it, there aren’t that many books devoted to pterosaurs to begin with, so another one on the market can only be a good thing.
Herein, please find my assorted thoughts on this most excellent book. First of all, though, some disclosure: as readers and followers will likely already know, I’m personal friends with Mark and have co-authored several studies with him. You might therefore conclude that the following review is not impartial; nevertheless, let’s see what happens. For the purposes of convention, I’m going to refer to Mark as ‘Witton’ throughout this review…
(read more: Tetrapod Zoology - Scientific American)
illustrations by Mark Witton
In the Late Triassic, William Sillin, Dinosaur State Park, 1988/1991
There are eras when life clambers. Meteors fall, sea-levels drop, volcanos poison the sky; biospheres collapse, dynasties end, whole worlds are extinguished. Then life must crawl from the debris to rebuild, to find new forms for old niches.
The Great Dying was over. Siberia’s geology relaxed; no more did oceans of molten basalt exhale acid aerosols and dust, or blaze through coal beds, transforming them into hurricanes of sun-blocking ash. Now the sky was clean, the air was pure, the crushing heat subsided. Green spread again, and things crept within it.
But recovery is slow—it’s not rebirth, but relearning. This is how you take a step. This is how you run. This is how you feed and breed, spread seeds and spores, gallop in herds, swarm in shoals, fly, bloom, and thrive. This is fear and this is affection. This is lust and this is greed. This is the sound of aetosaurs huffing, of fabrosaurs chirping, of leaves brushing against a phytosaur’s hide. This is how the sand feels on your toes as you sprint across the Triassic riverbank in the middle of a fifty million-year-long August, breakfast pinched between your teeth, and your tiny heart patting between each step. This is how life emerges from the darkness and makes for itself a new dawn.
Geosternbergia is an extinct genus of Pterosaur which lived during the Late Cretaceous. Apparently, this species exhibited a characteristic known as sexual dimorphism, which is a difference in phenotype between males and females of a single species.
(Photo credit 1: Tuomas Koivurinne, 2)
Not In Kansas Anymore
pastel on paper, 32” x 40”, 1993, © Ray Troll