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Leaellynasaura's Long Tail by MattMart Leaellynasaura's Long Tail by MattMart
When I heard about the SVP abstract from last year concerning the newly discovered hyper-elongated tail of basal ornithischian Leaellynasaura, I had to throw together a quick digipainting. Blog post on the topic is here:
[link]
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:iconmaxterandkiwiking:
MaxterandKiwiKing Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
IT'S SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!! XD
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:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
What a tail. These small ornithopods keep getting stranger.
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:iconsketchysg:
SketchySG Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010
woah, this is neat. I remember seeing these guys in "Walking with Dinosaurs", but then they were naked. The feathers make a lot more sense, seeing as they were polar beasties.

I wonder if they'd make good pets...
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:iconkingcobrasaurus:
Kingcobrasaurus Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Those aren't feathers. They're quills, like the ones that were found on Tianyulong and Psittacosaurus.
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:iconsketchysg:
SketchySG Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010
Interesting. I assumed they were for insulation, but is that what they were for anyway?
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:iconkingcobrasaurus:
Kingcobrasaurus Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Nobody knows. Leaellynasaura probably had them, while they were most likely used to keep it warm in the freezing winters, perhaps it could also puff them up to make them stand up and make it look bigger in the same way that mammals do today.

Nobody really knows what Tianyulong and Psittacosaurus used theirs for, but I personally think it was a prickly defense against predators. Like a porcupine.


Ornithischians are beginning to seem more mammalian than reptilian these days. @_@
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:iconsketchysg:
SketchySG Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010
Yeah, seems like their fluff would be for insulation. Partly because "Walking with Dinosaurs" featured them in such a situation.
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:iconindigomagpie:
indigomagpie Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Personally I was assuming they were fluffy long before Tianyulong - I just can't see how else they could have avoided freezing.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010
Not adding this one to your site?
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:iconmattmart:
MattMart Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Forgot this one in my last update, will have to work on a proper writeup...
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010
Ga wha---ut?

How well supported is the fluffy squirlly coat?
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:iconmattmart:
MattMart Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not well at all, but it sure looks cuter that way! Also, I was having trouble thinking of any other function for such a ridiculous tail.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010
Wow ! It really makes you think of the what other oddities existed in the dinosaur world, what features did they really have that we have yet to know, and what species existed that we have yet to uncover or never will uncover ! Amazing animals, it's no wonder why they have captured the hearts and minds of so many .... Because they were awesome !
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:iconwebseer:
Webseer Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
This is spectacular. I'm from Victoria and a former student of Pat Vickers-Rich, so to hear new science about a home grown wonder is fantastic.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
One of these insignificant little ornithischians just became interesting. (Of course, it already had a bit of press by hailing from a cold climate zone, but it's still a basal ornithopod... ornithischian thing.)
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:iconbubblekirby:
bubblekirby Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
Its ironic you said that considering this is my favorite dinosaur
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
Haha! XD
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:iconwebseer:
Webseer Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Insignificant? Polar dinosaurs are never insignificant, especially when there's evidence that they where residential all year around. Larger eyes, enhanced optic nerves and the capacity to do something no reptile today does? Far from insignificant.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
I wasn't saying polar dinosaurs were insignificant, I was speaking of basal ornithopods ("hypsilophodontids"). That was meant to be kind of a joke, in that basal ornithopods and their ilk just aren't as exciting as many other dinos in spite of whatever contributions they make to science.

And as far as doing what no "reptile" today does, archosaurs aren't really like other reptiles in metabolism. (Modern crocs are misleading; they're secondary poikilotherms.) Lots of birds live in cold places; I'd aim comparisons in that direction.
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:iconindigomagpie:
indigomagpie Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
... modern crocs are secondary poikiotherms? I'd thought that was still under debate.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
You're right, I probably wouldn't state that now with such certainty. It remains a distinct possibility.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
I wasn't saying polar dinosaurs were insignificant, I was speaking of basal ornithopods ("hypsilophodontids"). That was meant to be kind of a joke, in that basal ornithopods and their ilk just aren't as exciting as many other dinos in spite of whatever contributions they make to science.

And as far as doing what no "reptile" today does, archosaurs aren't really like other reptiles in metabolism. (Modern crocs are misleading; they're secondary poikilotherms.) Lots of birds live in cold places; I'd aim comparisons in that direction.
Reply
:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
I wasn't saying polar dinosaurs were insignificant, I was speaking of basal ornithopods ("hypsilophodontids"). That was meant to be kind of a joke, in that basal ornithopods and their ilk just aren't as exciting as many other dinos in spite of whatever contributions they make to science.

And as far as doing what no "reptile" today does, archosaurs aren't really like other reptiles in metabolism. (Modern crocs are misleading; they're secondary poikilotherms.) Lots of birds live in cold places; I'd aim comparisons in that direction.
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:iconwebseer:
Webseer Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
I'll concede the point about archosaurs, but I'm curious about what constitutes exciting for you.
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate all dinos, and the basic design of basal ornithopods was very successful. They also pioneered the ornithopod chewing mechanism; those count as rather exciting things to me. However, they can still appear to be rather bland. They're not big, they don't have many strange features, they're very generic.

Besides, it was only intended as a joke, nothing more. I was poking fun at the undeniable fact that they certainly aren't as popular as horned ceratopsids or crested lambeosaurines or armored thyreophorans or meat-eating tyrannosaurids or giant sauropods or agile dromaeosaurids. Truth be told, basal ornithopods at least look more boring next to these stock dinosaurs, even though their successes and such can be fascinating.
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:icondeinonychusempire:
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I hadn't heard about this either...
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:iconrickraptor105:
RickRaptor105 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Wow, you´re fast! I´ve just heard about this today.
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:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
excellent work! I hadn't heard about this.
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