Friday, January 11, 2008

Cavegirl Art 3: Triceratops

Triceratops has always been my favourite dinosaur from when I was a little boy. There used to be a set of dinosaur kits by a firm called Pyro and I had them all, but the Triceratops was always my favourite. So the thought of putting a cavegirl together with one has natural appeal.

This picture is by Spanish comic-strip artist Enrique Badia Romero, who illustrated Modesty Blaise for years and also Axa which ran in The Sun from 1978 until 1986. Romero is a top artist but the scale isn't quite right here. Triceratops had one of the largest skulls of any land animal: it could grow up to seven feet long. Triceratops was about thirty feet long but this one looks about ten feet. A baby would have had shorter horns.

Her spear, whilst having a nice stone age looking tip seems a bit short. It looks like it should extend underneath her leg. She isn't wearing fur but I like the teeth around her waist and ankle.

Triceratops (Three-horned face) is one of the Ceratopsidae and lived in what is now North America. Fossils have been found in Colarado, Montana South Dakota, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The first fossil was discovered in 1887 and was originally thought to be from a Pliocene bison as only the top two horns were unearthed. It wasn't until a more complete skull was discovered the following year that it was realised that it was a horned dinosaur and named as Triceratops by Othniel Charles Marsh.

Marsh. "Now what can I call a dinosaur with three horns on it's face?"

Nice pelvis

A complete Skeleton has never been found but here is, rather lovely, American Paleontologist Jenni Nolan excavating a Triceratops pelvic bone in Montana.

Here is Ray Harryhausen's Triceratops in One Million Years BC. A recent BBC documentary purported to prove that a Triceratops could not charge and skewer a Tyrannosaurus (although this is a Ceratosaurus, of course) as it's shorter nose horn wouldn't penetrate a dinosaur's skin and, indeed, the front of the skull, in their simulation, broke.

However, in a world where dinosaurs and cavegirls co-exist Triceratops happily skewers meat-eating predators all the time.

Cavegirl Rating: 6/10

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