Giraffatitan skull photos
February 10, 2014
Let it never be said that we don’t take good care of our commenters. Heck, we’ll even degrade ourselves by blogging about theropods, if that’s what it takes to keep you all happy.
Today’s post is a response to this comment by Dean, asking for lateral view photos of the skull of Giraffatitan. Mike and I did get to spend some quality time with the T1 skull (a.k.a. “Old Toilet-Face”) when we were in Berlin in 2008.
Unfortunately, most of our photos turned out not-so-hot. The room around the skull was not large, so we couldn’t get back very far from it. Hence our photos are plagued by perspective distortions.
Also, we didn’t have a tripod along and the light level was fairly low, and the combination of handheld shots and long exposure times meant that most of the shots are at least a little blurry.
BUT. It was still a thrill to see that skull up close.
The crazy thing about Giraffatitan is that the skull looks like it’s going to be pretty sweet when you see it from the side. Because you’re thinking it’s going to be kinda narrow, like a giraffe’s head. Then you get even a partial front view and suddenly the animal’s whole skull looks like a partially-deflated whoopie cushion (whereas in life it looked like a mostly-inflated whoopie cushion). And then you have to live with the knowledge that one of the most majestic animals that ever lived on Earth was afflicted with derpty-face. I’ll bet they went extinct from shame.
Still, there is some cool anatomy to see here, especially the snout-troughs leading down from the external nares, and the neurovascular foramina on the maxillae.
And, crucially, brachiosaurs had the good taste to hide their freakish countenances 45 feet up, where they could be safely ignored by everyone other than pterosaurs and birds. This has not escaped the notice of exhibit designers:
Go here for the unmarked original.