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Tracy Ford wrote:

> Also, he drew the head of Cryolophosaurus wrong. Which may not be his
>fault   > since he drew it off a cast from Saurian Studios. There is no
>space between   > the two sides of the crest. There IS a small 'hole' at
>the bottom. I
> was standing behind Hammer (or was it the other author?) at the SVP while
>he  > looked over a cast of the model and he explained to us who were
>standing there > what was wrong.

A couple of corrections. Mike Milbourne's drawings of _Cryolophosaurus_ are
based on his own research: he has seen, studied, photographed, videotaped,
drawn, and now sculpted the skull. He has discussed his restoration at
length with Hammer and Hickerson, and they are generally pleased with the
result. There are, however, a few minor points of disagreement.

It is Bill Hammer's contention (and yes, Tracy, that was him at The
Dinosaur Studio -- not Saurian Studios -- table at SVP) that the two crests
of _Cryolphosaurus_ are *fused* at the top, and do not have a gap between
them as portrayed in Milbourne's sculpture of the skull. There is
sufficient reason, IMO, to believe that Bill Hammer is wrong (no disrespect
intended). First, close examination of the skull reveals that the two
crests are not mirror-images of one another on either side of the skull's
midline; the left-hand crest is obviously distorted, and pushed up against
the right-hand one (thus creating the impression that the two of them are
fused at the top). Straightening out the distorted crest would leave a gap
between them at the top, as Milbourne has portrayed in his sculpture of the
skull. Second, would the crest start out fully-formed (and *fused*?) in a
juvenile? Ontogenetically, it would seem to make sense that the crests grew
as the animal did. And in order for the bones to be "fused", wouldn't the
bone have to have grown right through the keratin sheath that the crests
must have had? What would be the precedent for that?

I have a bit of a problem with the perceived subtext of Tracy's comments.
Again, no disrespect intended, but let's remember that paleontologists are
not gods, they are humans beings just like the rest of us, and are just as
capable of making mistakes as those of us who are "only artists". Science
is not dogma, and scientists' "word" should not be beyond question. And
let's not belittle the contributions of paleolife artists to the field
either. Lack of a degree or title in paleontology does not preclude insight
into the science. Mike Milbourne is an intelligent, talented
illustrator/sculptor. His mistake is that he lets his youthful enthusiasm
cloud his better judgement and says things (in print no less!) better left

Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)