My collection of sauropod-themed mugs, 2021 edition

April 30, 2021

Back in 2017, I showed the world 83.33% of my collection of sauropod-themed mugs. Time passes, and I have lost some of them and gained some more. The tally now stands at eight, and here they are:

My missing Brontomerus mug never did turn up. In the mean time, I have also lost or maybe broken the Sauroposeidon mug, the old black-and-white Archbishop mug, and the single-view Xenoposeidon mug. The dissertation mug still survives, but has faded into total illegibility, so I don’t count it any more.

On the more positive side, the sexual selection mug — second from the right in the old photo, and bottom left in the new one — survives, in fact the only one to have done so. All the others are new acquisitions. Let’s take a look:

Back row, left to right:

  1. The new, improved Archbishop dorsals A and B mug. Unlike the original, this is in glorious colour, and rearranges the elements to show anterior view on the front, and left and right lateral on the sides.
  2. The new, improved Xenoposeidon mug. It’s laid out the same way with the anterior view on the front and left and right lateral views on the sides.
  3. One that Fiona made for my birthday, showing one of the publicity photos from the original Xenoposeidon description: the one of which a newspaper columnist wrote “I wish my husband looked at me the way he looks at this bone”.
  4. A mug made by Mark Witton, which I saw at TetZooCon 2019 and made him an offer for. It shows his own Diplodocus artwork, an update of an earlier piece that he did for Matt, Darren and me to publicise our 2009 paper on sauropod neck posture. (Details here.)

Front row, left to right:

  1. The sole survivor, showing the introductory here’s-what-sauropod-necks-are-like illustration from our 2011 paper on why those necks were not sexually selected.
  2. The sauropod neck gallery used as Figure 3 in my and Matt’s 2013 PeerJ paper “why giraffes have short necks”.
  3. One of the world’s few caudal pneumaticity mugs, using all the illustrations from Matt’s and my 2013 paper, and inspired by the freakily consistent colour palette of those illustrations.
  4. This one needs a bit of explaining. See below.

For reasons that no-one — least of all he — understands, my youngest son bought a pair of Dawn French mugs as a birthday or Christmas present for Fiona. (No-one in our family is particularly a fan, it was one of those random things.) Since then, he has given her five or six more identical mugs.

Because I do not like these, I insist that they hang on one mug tree, and the sauropod mugs on another. It was to break down this mug apartheid that our eldest made for us this final mug, which shows both Dawn French and a reconstruction of the Xenoposeidon vertebra (from my 2018 paper). Where does it live? Usually, it sits on the shelf between the two mug trees.

So this is how things stand. (I drink a lot of tea, so these mugs all see plenty of action.) I really should make myself a new Brontomerus mug, and perhaps a pneumatic variation one.

8 Responses to “My collection of sauropod-themed mugs, 2021 edition”

  1. llewelly Says:

    as someone who did wheel-thrown pottery for a numbers years (but can’t now bc reasons), my reaction is … interesting stuff on boring mugs.

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Well, Llewelly, I’m afraid a boring mug is probably the best substrate for interesting stuff. After all, you wouldn’t want to paint on an interesting canvas.

  3. Ben Says:

    I think Llewelly’s suggesting a sauropod vertebra-shapped is needed.

  4. Ben B Says:

    I think Llewelly is suggesting a sauropod vertebra-shapped mug is needed.

  5. Jay Says:

    Snazzy mugs! I’m very partial to a vintage-style “bas-relief?” purple sauropod mug from the local Natural History Museum, from which I will only drink coffee.

  6. Jay Says:

    …hit “post” too quickly….and I for one would totally go for a sauropod vertebra-shaped mug. Please link us to your etsy store….

  7. Mike Taylor Says:

    I have no Etsy store, but I could make some of these designs — the CC By ones — available on RedBubble.

  8. llewelly Says:

    making a mug that was both an accurate sauropod vert and also not unduly difficult to use, wash, or store would be a challenge. (at least for me, anyway)

    Back to Mike’s earlier comment – Mike is to an extent correct – it’s *much* harder to put interesting stuff on a complicated shape. Even making the body of a mug a gentle hourglass shape would make the task harder.


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