Author Topic: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?  (Read 9466 times)

tyrantqueen

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Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« on: July 09, 2012, 01:12:26 PM »
Hi,
I have been considering trying out sculpting my own dinosaurs for fun. I understand that to sculpt a living animal convincingly I need to understand its anatomy fairly well. Are there any good references, like books for example, that I can use to help with this? Particularly muscle restorations, as these help me to understand what the musculature looks like underneath the skin :)

I have Gregory S Paul's book, which has a few muscle restorations but is mostly bone :P Should I look at references of bird anatomy, or just general animals?

Thanks ;)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 06:00:45 PM by tyrantqueen »


Aram-Rex

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 08:40:11 PM »
You should. I mean like me for instance, I have made dinosaur sculptures and I did not look anywhere conserning dinosaur anatomy. I just tried to recreate what was in my imagination. But I'd suggest you look for books and stuff. It will give you more information and experience. When I was participating in courses of sculpting, I made a Styracosaurus. Too bad I can't show you an image of it  :/.
AP

rfdelgado

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 12:43:54 AM »
Don't pick mine. My dinosaurs suck.

Blade-of-the-Moon

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 01:07:03 AM »
Don't pick mine. My dinosaurs suck.

Ricardo I'll base one on your work just to contradict that.. ;) ;D

Try any of Greg Paul's books :

http://www.amazon.com/Gregory-S.-Paul/e/B001IQZHPI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1341879345&sr=1-1

..and try here : http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:17:14 AM by Blade-of-the-Moon »

Gryphoceratops

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 01:14:39 AM »
A good start would be to go to the zoo and look at living birds.  They aren't EXACTLY the same as all other dinosaurs but its def a good start. 

rfdelgado

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 08:55:18 PM »
I agree with Gryph, and my dinosaurs still suck.

Gwangi

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 09:40:10 PM »
I agree with Gryph, and my dinosaurs still suck.

No, they really don't. What is up with you constantly putting yourself down? Most of us are fans of your work. I realize many artists don't like their own work but you need to realize that you have a talent that many people would kill to have, you should be grateful for your gifts.  :)

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 10:01:22 PM »
I agree with Gryph, and my dinosaurs still suck.

No, they really don't. What is up with you constantly putting yourself down? Most of us are fans of your work. I realize many artists don't like their own work but you need to realize that you have a talent that many people would kill to have, you should be grateful for your gifts.  :)

I my high School art teacher said that an artist work is never done. And alot of artist have works that they are ashmed of but are highly received dispite his feelings
A true Dinosaur fan loves dinosaurs for what they are, not what he/she wants them to be.

Gwangi

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 12:12:17 AM »
I agree with Gryph, and my dinosaurs still suck.

No, they really don't. What is up with you constantly putting yourself down? Most of us are fans of your work. I realize many artists don't like their own work but you need to realize that you have a talent that many people would kill to have, you should be grateful for your gifts.  :)

I my high School art teacher said that an artist work is never done. And alot of artist have works that they are ashmed of but are highly received dispite his feelings

Yeah, I realize that (as I said) but there comes a point where even if you aren't completely pleased with your own work you should at least acknowledge that is doesn't suck, especially if you can make a living off of it. He may think his work sucks but I don't see a reason to remind us of that every time he shares a piece of his work that we're all drooling over. I don't see any of the other artists here doing it with that kind of frequency.

wings

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2012, 04:34:52 AM »
Observing modern animals are good and all like going to the zoo or watching documentaries. But if you would like to understand musculature and get a feel of the structure underneath the skin which creates the overall form on the surface, then you should really look for books on animal dissection or anatomy. Without knowing this your creation would seem "soft" (unless you can meticulously reconstruct these landmarks at the exact spot on your sculpture of course). A good place to start is this book (http://witmerlab.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/ghetie%E2%80%99s-atlas-of-avian-anatomy-a-virtually-unknown-treasure%E2%80%A6now-available/) since it's for free. We never know all the exact attachment sites for muscle for most if not all dinosaurs (even sites could be different on the same animal's left and right sides) and all we can do is via inference of these structures. Avian anatomy books would help with the hindquarter of the animal and probably front quarter as well on some of the avian theropods. Also you should look for books on reptile anatomy as well for their front quarter (like their forelimbs) for the non-avian ones as these animals never really alter their anatomy to facilitate for flight/glide.

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 05:11:34 AM »
OK this might be a little sensetive :-[ apolagies in advance



If you RELLY want to know animal anatomy, then Its best to go to a local kill shelter and see if they have any poor dogs that were recently put down.

or Look on the road ways for freshly Hit cretures(as in ones that dont look like a rotted carcuss.    Or simply hunt an animal and Go from there. :P

You can do these methods with birds to, which are liveing dinosaurs.

Books are good, but nothing beats hands on expiriance.




« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 07:23:58 PM by Takama »
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wings

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 08:02:55 AM »
OK this might be a little sensetive :-[ apolagies in advance



If you RELLY want to know animal anatomy, then Its best to go to a local kill shelter and see if they have any poor dogs that were recently put down.

or Look on the road ways for freshly Hit cretures(as in ones that dont look like a rotted carcuss.    Or simply hunt an animal and Go from there.

You can do these methods with birds to, which are liveing dinosaurs.

Books are good, but nothing beats hands on expiriance.
That is so true, nothing beats a dissection. One element to remember though is that mammalian (in this case the dead dog from the above example) muscles are often too specialize for your avian/reptilian muscular reconstruction, their bulk, shapes and attachment sites are often very different when compare with any archosaurs. For example modern birds and reptiles seem to lack a distinct acromion process (a bony outgrowth on the shoulder blade) as in mammals and hence a slight differences in musculature arrangement on the shoulder region (perhaps this could apply to some of the armour dinosaurs since they also do have quite a strongly sculptured acromion process on their shoulder blades). So you have to know what to look for and make adjustments. I wish I live near a "kill house" as well but unfortunately the closest crocodile farm to my house is two states away (probably there are a few shelters in my state but none of them are near my place...). Just go to the supermarket and get a whole chicken, skin it and slice it up, that would be the easiest way to do it.

Almost forgot, if you would like to get the basics just strictly on "dinosaurs" then you could get "THE COMPLETE DINOSAUR" edit by Brett-Surman, Holtz and Farlow. It covers most of the recent studies on musculature reconstruction on these animals (but make sure it is the 2nd edition though) and if you would like to get more in-depth on the topic then go through their references at the end of the chapter. BTW you might need to have a biology book handy for the technical jargon... Another alternative would be one called "DINOSAUR PALEOBIOLOGY" by Brusatte, it gives a more condensed overview of the topic. 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 03:16:56 AM by wings »

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 01:21:01 PM »
I have mountains of books and yeah it help to have a few of the better ones listed on hand for quick references.  But like said above if you get an opportunity to dissect something (if u are into that) its a bigger boost to your understanding.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of dissecting experience in college with birds and some (other)reptiles.  Not sure about doing so with a domestic bird chicken or turkey though.  Those things have been selectively bred to have huge meaty parts- something a wild animal probably wouldn't have. 

I stress again live animal observation is super helpful for understanding how they work/move.  Good for capturing a believable moment in time when illustrating. 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 01:25:33 PM by Gryphoceratops »

tyrantqueen

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 04:58:11 PM »
I have mountains of books and yeah it help to have a few of the better ones listed on hand for quick references.  But like said above if you get an opportunity to dissect something (if u are into that) its a bigger boost to your understanding.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of dissecting experience in college with birds and some (other)reptiles.  Not sure about doing so with a domestic bird chicken or turkey though.  Those things have been selectively bred to have huge meaty parts- something a wild animal probably wouldn't have. 

I stress again live animal observation is super helpful for understanding how they work/move.  Good for capturing a believable moment in time when illustrating. 
Dissection is not really an option :/ I'm really quite squeamish when it comes to stuff like that.

Quote
If you RELLY want to know animal anatomy, then Its best to go to a local kill shelter and see if they have any poor dogs that were recently put down.

or Look on the road ways for freshly Hit cretures(as in ones that dont look like a rotted carcuss.    Or simply hunt an animal and Go from there.

You can do these methods with birds to, which are liveing dinosaurs.

Books are good, but nothing beats hands on expiriance.
Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "kill shelter". I don't live in a big American city.

Quote
Almost forgot, if you would like to get the basics just strictly on "dinosaurs" then you could get "THE COMPLETE DINOSAUR" edit by Brett-Surman, Holtz and Farlow. It covers most of the recent studies on musculature reconstruction on these animals (but make sure it is the 2nd edition though) and if you would like to get more in-depth on the topic then go through their references at the end of the chapter. BTW you might need to have a biology book handy for the technical jargon... Another alternative would be one called "DINOSAUR PALEOBIOLOGY" by Brusatte, it gives a more condensed overview of the topic.
Thanks for your recommendations.

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 06:00:46 PM »
Quote
Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "kill shelter". I don't live in a big American city.

A kill shelter is a sad :'( place were Stray animals go for a chnce to be adopted but if there is not enough room for some of them,   They kill them, and lock them in a freezer.

A true Dinosaur fan loves dinosaurs for what they are, not what he/she wants them to be.

wings

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2012, 03:37:04 AM »
I have mountains of books and yeah it help to have a few of the better ones listed on hand for quick references.  But like said above if you get an opportunity to dissect something (if u are into that) its a bigger boost to your understanding.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of dissecting experience in college with birds and some (other)reptiles.  Not sure about doing so with a domestic bird chicken or turkey though.  Those things have been selectively bred to have huge meaty parts- something a wild animal probably wouldn't have. 

I stress again live animal observation is super helpful for understanding how they work/move.  Good for capturing a believable moment in time when illustrating.
Well, a chicken (or even game birds) from the supermarket would be the simplest alternative (I suppose suggestion of using a dead dog for the purpose of muscular reconstruction on a "dinosaur" would be even worst), since not everyone can gain access to the proper dissection equipments or materials. If it's too meaty maybe get the free range one or something. All we are trying too do is to extrapolate the attachment site (the extent of these muscles) anyway regardless how meaty the animal is, unless these animals do develop extra sets of muscles there wouldn't be any major issue (We are merely looking for its general muscular arrangement). We do not really have the mean to calculate the exact bulk of these muscles anyway at the moment. I don't know boasting mentioning about having mountains of book and not listing any of them would be beneficial to the original author either... since the original question was "Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?".

To be fair observing modern animals is fine if this is just a query about creating a natural-looking palaeo-illustration (it is part of it but I assume that isn't what you are asking about), however, to answer your question of learning about their anatomy it's just not quite enough. Let say you know how a particular animal moves, you would probably ask yourself sometimes on what creates such form on its limbs or body of the animal when it moves (which muscles bunched up or which has been stretched, what part of the skeleton makes a landmark?).
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 05:07:23 AM by wings »

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 01:39:18 PM »
When did I mention a dog? 

 "I don't know boasting mentioning about having mountains of book and not listing any of them would be beneficial to the original author either"

Its a good thing you decided to cross out that one word.  For a second there you almost said something rude!  Yes the question is about books but if there is a better option I'm (and others on here above me!) going to mention it.  I'm not boasting anything (honestly I think I have one of the smaller collections of stuff looking at other people's photos on the forums).  I'm just saying I have a lot of good books but dissection and live observation is better in my experience. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 01:40:47 PM by Gryphoceratops »

wings

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2012, 02:24:08 PM »
When did I mention a dog? 

 "I don't know boasting mentioning about having mountains of book and not listing any of them would be beneficial to the original author either"

Its a good thing you decided to cross out that one word.  For a second there you almost said something rude!  Yes the question is about books but if there is a better option I'm (and others on here above me!) going to mention it.  I'm not boasting anything (honestly I think I have one of the smaller collections of stuff looking at other people's photos on the forums).  I'm just saying I have a lot of good books but dissection and live observation is better in my experience.
Did I say you've mentioned a dog? That was referring Takama's comment earlier (if you did actually read it), it's just sounded illogical to me that you would rather criticize what I said about the chicken but not Takama's on the "kill shelter" for stray animals (assuming they hold cats and dogs, since it is very rare for them to hold stray birds and reptiles. Unless you really think that Takama's "kill shelter" is primarily for birds and reptiles). Yeah I just crossed the word "boasting" out to avoid any private messages from you afterwards (like the last few times...). I could have deleted it altogether but I decided not to because that is exactly what I think. Different people takes different routes to learn and if the original author feels comfortable to start off with books then I don't see how this would done her any harm (she might decide to do a proper dissection one day... or maybe not...). For you to say that "I have mountains of books ..." and not name any of the titles which would help the enquirer is rather unproductive. I just felt that if that is what the enquirer is asking then if we know any decent or relevant publications on the subject we should have recommended to her. Instead of telling her that you have the resources but just won't list "any" of them at all. We know that you prefer dissection but that is besides the point.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:42:36 PM by wings »

postsaurischian

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2012, 03:23:13 PM »
 :o Shocking stuff!
I'm so glad I'm a musician and that having butcher qualities is not required for plying my art ;D.
....... sorry, but to be serious: One of the most exceptional features of mankind is abstract & reasoning power.
We do not have to make immediate physical experiences in order to learn something. We can read, watch or listen for example. WE CAN EVEN INVENT! So ... possibilities are manifold :).
Get on with it!

Thanks for the 'Skeleton Drawing' link :)! I'm really enjoying this page and didn't know it before.

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Re: Best books for learning about dinosaur anatomy?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 06:15:41 PM »
Excellent point, Helge. Bravo. :)



I didn't take Chris' 'mountains of books' comment to be a boast either, but understood it as he intended: a hyberbolic use of the phrase to illustrate that an abundance of books may not always compare to direct observation; in whatever form that constitutes.

I have to confess: I'm perplexed by how often Wings and Chris seem to have had your wires crossed, when your aims are often actually the same. I speak only from observation, but it seems as though you may have got off on the wrong foot early on, and it has since coloured all your exchanges. I'm surely not the only one to think so?

I do not presume to interfere, but it's just a terrible shame for rancour to exist when there needn't be one. Especially when the parties actually agree on the points that matter.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 06:16:24 PM by Himmapaan »