How Do Paleoartists Create Dinosaur Drawings?
Today's episode was brought to you by the new Capital One saver card with which you can earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent on checking out that new restaurant everyone's talking about and four percent on watching your team win at home. You'll also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in what's in your wallet? Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. Hey, brain stuff, Lauren Bogle bomb here. Celebrated paleo artist rate troll told us an Email shared passion for an obscure topic is what binds scientists and artists. They're both curiosity driven. And he would know based in Alaska troll builds on scientific findings to create art that depicts prehistoric life through paleo. Art, fossils are revived a single drawing or sculpture can define how the public will visualize an extinct species. So paleo artists strive to keep their work as accurate as possible. A task that gets harder. When experts disagree. It's a tough job to be sure, but also a dream job for loads of fossil fans and dinosaur enthusiasts. But how do they go about creating it? First off a little history dinosaur renaissance changed the game paleo art didn't always feature. Dinosaurs all pre stork organisms from early palm trees to Willie mammoths make worthy subjects nevertheless, the fascinating reptiles were at the center of. Significant period in the history of this artform called the dinosaur. Renaissance. A prior to the nineteen sixties dinosaurs were largely written off as dimwitted tail dragging hoax. Most paleo art from the early twentieth century reflects that view, but in nineteen sixty nine Yale paleontologist, John Ostrom published a new paper on Dino Nike's, an eleven foot that's three point three meter predator. Akin to the drastic park imagining of lesser raptor, noting its long legs and sickle shaped claws Ostrom claimed. Dana Nike's was an athletic beast who ran down its prey and might have even hunted in packs. A scientist went onto popularise now widely accepted idea, but today's birds are descended from Mesozoic dinosaurs, exciting hypotheses, like these changed the discourse about how dinosaurs looked and behaved in the nineteen seventies. And eighties a growing number of artists responded by illustrating, the creatures and active dynamic poses. What followed was renewed public interest in both the study of dinosaurs into paleo art itself. But there was a problem. Bare bones and skeletons often don't tell you a whole lot about the overlying soft tissue. Hence, some paleo artists have chosen to reconstruct animals reptiles in particular as linky beasts with ultra-low body, fat skinny tails and heads that are largely devoid of cartilage or loose skin. This practice has been called shrink, wrapping. And if you couldn't tell from the moniker. It's been contentious troll broke it down for us quote. I think there are some really valid points to be made about shrink wrapping many paleo artists reluctant to jump into more speculative reconstructions preferring to play it safer. So by keeping their animal's lean and mean paleo artists can highlight known skeletal anatomy without making conjectural guesses about an soft tissues that might not have been preserved back in the dinosaur renaissance shrink wrapping was in fashion. That's no longer the case modern critics point out that living animals tend to look a lot different than you might expect. If you had nothing to go on. But they're naked skeletons troll pointed out that things like trunks ears and blubber. Don't usually. Fossil is. We also spoke by Email with Matt Celeski paleo artists and museum exhibit designer who also offered his thoughts on the issue quote. Today's paleo artists are looking more closely at the extent of soft tissue in living animals. I think this fleshing out of paleo art makes for heightened levels of believability in the reconstructions and greater diversity in the way, artists approach their subjects in other words, chunky limbs and necks and not to mention poofy. Dino feathers have gone mainstream but figuring out what those features might have looked like take some serious research to scientists skeletal drawing is one of the most useful forms of paleo. Art, an animal skeleton is usually depicted in an upright position that is standing or running and juxtaposed against a black silhouette that represents the creature's body profile. Unfortunately in the fossil record complete skeletons tend to be rare when parts are missing or broken. Scientists and artists can only speculate about what those elements looked like slutsky said every skeleton presents unique challenges, but I find the most difficult thing. Is filling in the parts, you don't know extrapolating, the shapes of missing, bones or correcting the shapes of bones that have been damaged or distorted by time. Filling in each missing piece involves a complex mix of research inference and educated guesses, and I always wonder if they're better choices than the ones I end up making. But these efforts aren't new a let me take you back to eighteen fifty three when sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was hired to build more than thirty full-sized concrete models of prehistoric animals for Crystal Palace park in London England, the man really did his homework consulting experts scrutinizing fossils and reviewing the scientific literature and short he was a dedicated paleo artist. One of Hawkins, Don molds had a carnivorous gut big enough to hold a table and some chairs so as a publicity stunt for his project Twenty-one guests, including paleontologist, William Buckland and servitude Owen were invited to climb down into the belly of the beast for an eight course, dinner party, the big shindig took place on New Year's Eve eighteen fifty three. Restoration projects have helped these masterworks survived to the present day. The beasts attract thousands of visitors every year, even though they're no longer deemed accurate Hawkins megalosaurus for example, stands menacingly on all fours, but scientists now think the meat eating dinosaur was bipedal nevertheless, the Victorian era giants capture the prevailing wisdom of their time. Giving them a men's cultural value prehistory matters. But so does our history. As absorbed by Mark and Chini and produced by Tyler clang, brain stuff is a production of iheartradio's how stuff works for more on this month of other well preserved topics visit our home planet peste works dot com. And for more podcasts from my heart radio. Visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by it could happen here. New podcast is a second American civil war possible. How would it look? And most importantly, could you survive Robert Evans, host of the hit podcast behind the bastards answers. These questions in tremendous terrifying detail in his new podcast it could happen here. Each season. He'll take a premise more commonly seen in science fiction and explain how it might be closer than you think to coming. True. Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.