I have a John Sibbick book of my own to share, but I've decided to hold back and give the kind readers of LITC a little break. Instead, today I'm sharing a collection of dinosaur illustrations that decorate the shuttle which operates within Dinosaur National Monument, taking visitors to the visitor center protecting its most famous landmark. In keeping with the monument's focus on the history of paleontology, they are throwbacks to the saurians of mid-century dinosaur books, possibly one we might have featured in this ongoing series.
UPDATE: Indeed they are - readers have pointed out that these are derivative of the Giant Golden Book of Dinosaurs, featuring Rudolf Zallinger's work. That's one I've wanted to find for a while but never have.
The paintings, which encircle the shuttle's two trailers, covering just about every panel large enough to accommodate artwork, are the work of Kay Thunehorst, an obscure artist with zero presence on the toobs. I've put out feelers to find when these paintings were made, and will update with what I find out.
Continuing the tradition of presenting iconic non-dinosaurian creatures alongside the bona fide members of the tribe, the shuttle includes Dimetrodon and a Pteranodon gracing the front of the shuttle.
The hadrosaurs are represented by Lambeosaurus and the taxonomic mess of Trachodon.
They're joined by their relative Iguanodon, placidly giving the thumbs up.
The thyreophorans are represented by their chosen delegates, Ankylosaurus and Stegosaurus.
Triceratops and Styracosaurus step up for the ceratopsians
The shuttle wouldn't feel right without sauropods, of course, and Thunehorst has painted Diplodocus and a traditional, swamp-bound Brachiosaurus.
The third sauropod is a return to one of my favorite tropes: Gory theropod attacks on the docile giants. Here it's the vicious Allosaurus grimly dispatching poor ol' Brontosaurus UPDATE: It's also a copy of Zallinger's take on this battle, as you can see here.
Yes, there be theropods on the shuttle, as further attested by this generic member of the clan, as well as the mandatory Tyrannosaurus and our little buddy Compsognathus.
These illustrations are not technically proficient, but they bear a primitive charm, and their weathered look adds a certain poignance to them. It was a pleasant surprise to see Thunehorst's cross-section of the dinosauria (pluss a couple oddballs) on the shuttle. Outdated illustrations like live on as reminders of how far we've come in the last few decades. Long may they decorate the shuttle to the Quarry Visitor Center. Speaking of which, my next post will bring us face to face with its famous wall of fossils. Special thanks to David Prus and Christina Wilsdon for pointing out the heritage of these pieces from the Zallinger illustrations.