fossil of the weekend! #23

a cast skeleton of the dromaeosaurid saurornitholestes.

a clue of things coming to the tyrannosaur chronicles soon! wonder what it could be?


Zach said...

Is there enough skeletal material to make a reasonable mount?

Traumador said...

well depends on your feelings about skeletal mounts of incomplete animals...

for example casts of dromaeosaurus are very popular throughout the world (i've seen 2 here down under). these are all copies of the tyrrell's cast created in 1982 or 83 (the tyrrell traded them in exchange for foreign material to build up their brand new collection in those days).

however as you are no doubt well aware there is only the one dromaeosaur ever found, and it was in rough shape. Only the skull was intact...

so they built it as a chimera mount with sculpted missing bits referenced on Velociraptor and Deinonychus, and using new bones from another similar sized Albertan raptor.

i can't for the life of me remember the name that they'd given this "other" raptor when i heard this story back in 2004, but since then it was decided a junior synonym of saurornitholestes, rather then something else.

from my work in the tyrrell's casting lab the saurornitholestes skeleton you see in this post is essentially a vamped up version of the dromaeosaurus chimera, many of the sculpted bones were replaced with more recently found (or identified) saurornitholestes fossils, and i think most of it is based on just saurornitholestes material (though some of it is scuplted after juvie, if i recall right... i was working on a different project in the casting lab at the time funny enough).

there have been a few good incomplete saurornitholestes found, and as of such this new skeletal mount (made in 2004) is actually a not too bad composite (rather then chimera).

the problem i think is that not many of the tyrrell's saurornitholestes have been described. i know one of them had the first furcula bone found in a north american theropod (and i can't remember if this was the first found in the world or just NA... but i remember phil currie said it was the first he ever found) for example.

so i feel a lot better about this mount then i do about dromaeosaurus...