Planet Earth

Watch This: Reconstructing a Spiny Dinosaur From the Skeleton Up

80beatsBy Valerie RossOct 3, 2012 7:18 PM

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It's always nice to put a face to a name---and not just in the case of humans. Paleontologist Paul Sereno just introduced the world to 

Pegomastax africanus,

a small two-legged dinosaur that lived 200 million years ago, traipsing through what is now South Africa armed with a pointed beak, unexpectedly sharp canine teeth, and a bristling coat of quills. Calling to mind an image of such an unusual animal is difficult (I come up with a sort of parrot-wolf-porcupine-raptor mix which, while intriguing, is certainly not correct). Luckily, however, there are people like Tyler Keillor, a paleoartist who builds lifelike models of ancient animals, letting us see them face to face rather than as a list of features. In the video above, he reconstructs P. africanus layer by layer, starting with a resin skull and adding clay muscles, all the way up intricately painted silicone rubber skin and fishing-line quills. [via Scientific American]

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