Tutorial 15b: the bones of the theropod skeleton
September 8, 2011
Last time, we looked at the bones of the sauropod skeleton, and I mentioned that “thanks to the wonder of homology, it doubles as a primer for dinosaur skeletons in general”. To prove it, here everyone’s favourite vulgar, overstudied theropod Tyrannosaurus rex, in L. M. Sterling’s reconstruction from Osborn 1906:plate XXIV, published just one year after the big guy’s initial description. (The pose is somewhat outdated, but it’s a classic):
Click through for the full-sized version (2897 by 1755 pixels), which — like yesterday’s Camarasaurus — you are welcome to print out and hang on your wall as a handy reference. (Sterling’s original is out of copyright; I hereby make my modified version available under the CC-BY-NC-SA licence.)
The thing to notice is that the Camarasaurus and Tyrannosaurus have exactly the same bones, excepting only that theropods had gastralia (belly ribs) and sauropods probably did not. If you doubt it, here are the two animals composited together. Print it out! Print lots of copies! Hand them out to your friends!