This Plateosaurus, with “1994” stamped on its tummy, is fast becoming one of the older figures in the Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd. Plateosaurus is from the Triassic of Germany and is classified as a prosauropod dinosaur, that is, a close relative of the later large long-necked sauropods.
Plateosaurus was once thought to have been completely bipedal and was usually depicted striding boldly around on two hind legs. Today Plateosaurus is regarded as primarily quadrupedal with the possibility of rearing or running on two legs on occasion (the scientific term is ‘facultative biped’). The Carnegie figure is standing proud on two feet so it is out of date in this regard, although it retains a certain nostalgic charm. The pose is also quite static so it looks like it is just standing there looking straight ahead.
The hands have five uniform stubby little fingers, that’s the correct number of digits but doesn’t accurately reflect the variation in claw and finger size seen in the actual animal, there is no large thumb claw for example. Similarly there is something funny going on with the feet – the right number of toes are present but the 5th toe (on the outside of the leg) is positioned rather high.
The head is well done for such a small piece and it quite ‘boxy’ with a blunt snout. The nostrils are particularly large, in fact is has been suggested that prosauropods such as Plateosaurus had an excellent sense of smell. The colour is very nice with chocolate brown on the back and striking black and white streaks on its flanks. There are also some spots on the neck. Prosauropod figures are not frequently produced as toys so this figure is nice addition to any collection, although it would be interesting to see weather a new version is introduced as a replacement if this aging figure is ever retired.
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