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Showing posts from March, 2009

Chimpanzee plans stone attack

I just read an interesting BBC News article. Apparently, a chimpanzee at the Furuvik Zoo in Sweden had been storing hundreds of stones in anticipation of throwing them later at the zoo visitors. Planning ahead is a cognitive behaviour that has not been traditionally associated with nonhuman animals. This behaviour was observed over the last decade and reported in the journal Current Biology.

Previous reports of planning for future states in animals were all experimentally induced and as such one can be skeptic about these behaviours as being potential lab artefacts. However, this zoo chimpanzee showed spontaneous planning that provides support that previous observations made in the lab may not necessarily be artefacts of experiments; at least in great apes. Primary evidence for this is: that the chimpanzee had collected stones or made concrete discs (see below) early in the morning before the zoo was opened to the public but never when the zoo visitors were present; that the chimp…

more on Styracosaurus

Further to my previous post, I've added on some background to my Styracosaurus sketch.

I drew in lots of generic plantlife. I've previously done some research into the Hell Creek flora as a consultant job for Be the Dinosaur. As it turned out, the Hell Creek flora was dominated by angiosperms (about 90%). A lot of that was lobe-leafed plants, and lots of modern families, including the Arecaceae (palm), Zingiberaceae (ginger family), Nelumbonaceae (family including lotus), Rosaceae (rose family), Fagaceae (beech), Urticaceae (nettle family), and Cannabaceae (the family including hops and canabis!). So I drew some random lobe-leaf plants and somethings that look like roses and marijuana...

Of couse, Styracosaurus ain't from the Hell Creek Formation, but who cares.

Styracosaurus albertensis

I sent this in over to the Ceratopsian Gallery at ART Evolved: Life's Time Capsule but I thought I'd repost it here with a bit of my commentary...

I'm sure everyone's seen an image of Styracosaurus albertensis before. It is readily distinguishable from other ceratopsians by the presence of elongated horns on the back of the frill...I don't have much to comment on the dinosaur itself so I will comment on my drawing.

With this one, I didn't bother with skeletal reconstructions. Instead, I reverted to my good ol' habit of drawing from the outline in; I imagine what a live Styracosaurus would look like and draw out the outlines and fill in the details. I guess it's more intuitive and I draw something that I think looks right to me; a very unscientific methodology, I must admit. But this way of drawing is more comfortable for me; it reminds me of when I used to doodle on the back of ads that came with our newspaper.

Anyway, the original is a small sketch on…

ART EVOLVED: Life's Time Capsule - The Ceratopsian Gallery

I have been invited to take part in this cooperative blog on palaeoart, ART EVOLVED: Life's Time Capsule. The current feature is the Ceratopsian Gallery (icon below).



I was late in sending in a piece so I don't have my drawing there yet...[Edit: it's up now]