Ancient Terra Cotta Depicts Dinosaur?--or "Horned Toad?
If not for the theory of evolution, we would immediately think of dinosaurs when we encountered dragons and other types of "mythical" animals in ancient art. The theory of evolution tells us that man and dinosaurs never interacted, we look for other explanations for these representations. We're not making the case that many creatures being represented in this ancient art weren't "mythical" or chimeras or merely stylized depictions of known creatures. What we are saying is that this does not account for all of these dinosaur like representations
This first animal that we are focusing on was labeled in the gallery as a horned toad--and perhaps it is. There are many varieties of horned toads, two examples are pictured on the right. It may represent one such creature, but on the other hand, it (the above sculpure) also shares some characteristics with a type of dinosaur, believed to have become extinct millions of years ago; the ankylosaurs. It is unfortunate that the tail of the animal is missing because many of the ankylosaurs had a very distinct type of tail as you will read about below.
The photo above left is of a sculpture from the Jalisco culture; 300 B.C. to 300 A.D. according to historians and archaeologists. The Jalisco culture, named for the modern state, was located in West Mexico along the Pacific coast west of modern-day Mexico City.
Jalisco figures appear to be caricatures of human life rather than the theocratic art of other Mexican cultures, and as such seem much more expressive. However, these figures clearly served a religious purpose, as they were usually placed in tombs…Logan museum
"Ankylosaur Fact Sheet
How would you recognize an ankylosaur if you saw one? Ankylosaurs were among the most successful dinosaurs; they lived on Earth for over 60 million years. Those found in Alberta were among the largest of the ankylosaur family. These armoured dinosaurs had stocky legs and a short, heavy body.
They ranged in size. Some were the size of large turtles while others were as big as a car.
The armour, studs, spikes and tail clubs that covered their bodies protected them from their enemies.
They were built like tanks, with a wide rear end that held a huge digestive system to help them process the plants that they consumed.
All ankylosaurs were plant-eaters but their weak teeth did not allow them to chew their food. Plants were swallowed whole and digested in their huge stomachs. Their legs were heavily muscled to support their weight. Despite their bulky size, there is some evidence that they could move swiftly for short distances….calgary public library"
Once considered to be the same as Ankylosaurus, Euoplocephalus is probably the best known ankylosaur. It was much smaller than Ankylosaurus, measuring 6 meters (20 feet) long and 2.4 meters (8 feet) wide; it weighed 2,700 kilograms (6,000 pounds).
Bony plates studded with rows of spikes lined its back and a club armed its tail. It was so heavily armoured that even its eyelids had large, curved, bony plates. Its rounded snout had small, weak teeth that ended in a beak. Fossils of Euoplocephalus show that it had a complex nasal cavity that would have given it a keen sense of smell. It walked on four short, stout legs that ended in hoof-like claws.
Euoplocephalus was one of the most common armoured dinosaurs in Canada. Indeed, all of the known specimens come from this province. It was first discovered in 1902 by Lawrence Lambe. All the specimens date back 70 million years or older.
Many fossil remains have been located with their tail clubs attached. The tail club are much more common that the rest of the skeleton.
Additional Dinosaur Representations in Ancient Art?
It is estimated that only between 10 and 15% of all dinosaur species have been uncovered. Every year new and exciting discoveries are made all over the world.
Here at s8int.com, we've located lots of ancient art representing creatures that we're pretty sure are a type of dinosaur, but for which we have not found a suitable known dinosaur species to match it up with. This could mean such a creature does not exist, or it could mean that that particular species hasn't been found as yet.
Another problem that arises in trying to identify these creatures is that the images we have of those dinosaurs that have been found are created by aritists from either complete or partial skeletons.
Here are two additional represntations of animals that we believe to be dinosaurs. On the left is a type of long necked dinosaur, such as diplodocus or apotasaurus. The photo is of a replica of an ancient Chinese bronze teapot. Included in the photo collage for comparison is the skeleton of diplodocus along with a close-up of the type of head which appears frequently in ancient Chinese "dragon" representations-- and which is similar to the heads on the teapot.
On the right, from the early South American Colima culture, a tank like creature which could be another ankylosaur type creature (note the "dino skin" at the knees) or a currently unknown species.