Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dino Donner Party

When will this avalanche of tyrannosaur news stop? I'm not burnt out yet, but it would be nice to read some crazy hypsilophodon news. A new study from the University of Alberta, authored by PhD candidate Philip Bell and paleontologist Philip J. Currie, offers another example of interspecific fighting, this time in the Gorgosaurus branch of the family. Gorgosaurus was a mid-size tyrannosaur known almost exclusively from Alberta. Gorgosaurus is the predator with the highest representation in this area's fossil record, so it's very likely that this is Gorgo-on-Gorgo violence. Tragically, the wound shows no sign of healing, so the victim probably died soon after the incident.

Here's a graphic distributed by the University to accompany this announcement (Bell is the fellow below the dueling Gorgos):

When I first saw it, I thought to myself, "David, that illustration looks strangely familiar. It reminds me (and therefore you) of another artist's style." It didn't take long for me to figure it out: it looks like it could be the work of one Nicholas Gurewitch, whose now-on-hiatus comic Perry Bible Fellowship is wonderful, cool, and supremely fabulous to the extreme.

Here's an example of a dinosaur in his work. Maybe I'm nuts, but Philip Bell's drawing looks like what Gurewitch might do if he tried his hand at scientific illustration. I guess it's the stippling and the prominent outline. I'm not accusing Bell of using a ghost-artist, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was influenced by Gurewitch. It's probably just a coincidence, but I'm going to go ahead and email Bell to find out. If the response is interesting enough, I'll post it here.


UPDATE: Heard back from the man. No connection. Pure coincidence.

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