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Dinosaurs in Literature, Art & History--Wherein We Show Paleontologists What Ceratopsians Really Looked Like, Prove They Interacted With Humans, Name a New Dinosaur, Solve A Mystery--and Eat Garlic Chicken Over Rice.... Page 20

There is precious little data about dinosaurs to transcend. What the museum scientists know about Indians, whales, and elephants is more than enough to mimic real life. But when it comes to dinosaurs, all they really have to work with is an incomplete jumble of bones. .... And the elephants are a special case. There's a running joke among professional dinosaur artists that goes like this: Given just an elephant skeleton, they'd probably render a titanic hamster....Discover Magazine..What Did Dinosaurs Like, and Will We Never Know

Here at s8int.com, we believe we've shown in this section that evidence exists in archaic art to support the idea that "ancient" man lived with and/or interacted with "dinosaurs". Looking at ancient art could permit us to go back in history as if using a time machine.

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Just as anthropologists have shaped our view of "ancient man" by drawing him as a primitive from just a few bones (in other words, they used pure imagination) paleontologists and artists working with them have used virually their imaginations alone to describe what dinosaurs looked like. We assert that they may have been way off when it comes to ceratopsians. We think all those images of the ceratopsians are probably wrong in a vey important detail. The proboscis. Far fetched? Of course it is, particularly if you're convinced dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

detail of frill
Comparison of frill detail. "Anomaly" on Nepal sculpture "matches", "toelike" frill detail on typical some ceratopsian skulls.

This piece was described as a Mythological Aquatic Creature" by staff of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The piece is made of metal and is from Nepal, Himalayas, 10th century, i.e. approximately 16oo years ago. Clearly though, this is not a mythological creature. We recognized almost immediately the similarity it bore to the skulls of the ceratopsian dinosaurs, particularly Styracosaurus--except for the trunk of course.

Could paleontologists have gotten it wrong? Why not? They got evolution wrong, many of them. And they got the extinction of dino's 65 million years ago wrong. Also, remember that there is nothing about an elephant's skull to indicate it has a long trunk. Maybe, this dino is actually a mammal (another paleontogological mistake)....maybe related to the elephant...

Below, right, we; introduce the correct likeness Styracosaurus Camille,as we've named it, prove to those who can accept it(it's hard to build a case for this from one piece of art--but science often builds its dinos from less than that) --that the artist must have seen this dinosaur, and solve a Mystery. Then we eat! Of course, we could be wrong!

Tibetan mask & frilled Nepal Roof ornament from same geographical area indicate that it is in fact the head of a dino/dragon that is portrayed on the piece in question ; the trunk may or may not be a "fantastic". element. Click and drag photo to resize.

The Mystery

LIVING STEGODONT OR GENETIC FREAK?

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(C) Copyright Ben S. Roesch 1995

In February and March of 1992, the intrepid British explorer Sir John Blashford-Snell was trekking through a remote valley in the Bardia region of western Nepal in search of "giant elephants" reported by the locals.

Two representatives of these strange elephants, both bulls, were eventually observed - and photographed.

The two beasts, living up to their reputation, were estimated to have footprints measuring 22.5 inches across and a height to the shoulders of 11 feet 3 inches, which makes them even larger than the largest-ever recorded specimen of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus.

Adding to the confusion was the presence of two very large domes on each elephant's forehead, and a distinctive nasal bridge. These two features are not present on normal Asian elephants, but are, however, distinct on an extinct species of primitive elephant, the Stegodont. (s8int.com suggests that they saw a "betrunked" member of the "ceratopsians" family with one of the many varieties of frill, horns and headgear)

Of course, the problem is that the Stegodont , the ancestor of both the African and Asian elephants we know today, as well as the extinct mammoth, apparently died out more than a million years ago.

But this didn't stop Canadian paleontologist Dr. Clive Coy , as well as Snell himself, to speculate that the giant Nepalese elephants could very well be, in fact, representatives of the presumedly extinct Stegodont.

However romantic and likable, not to mention being a great cryptozoological triumph, the Stegodont theory is now thought to be unlikely. The theory now favoured by cryptozoologists, is that these "giant elephants" are more likely to be mutant versions of the normal Asian elephant, rather than a Stegodont or even a separate, new species of elephant.

One of the reasons behind this more orthodox solution is that a stegodont surviving to this day is perhaps a little far fetched (though nothing is truly far-fetched in cryptozoology!).

Another more scientific explanation is the fact that the elephants live in an isolated valley, and when a small population of any species of animal is isolated in a region, and begins to interbreed, genetic mutations are bound to crop up over time.

But even if the creatures are genetic mutations, they are still quite intriguing, and may even be evolution in the making; therefore, these giant elephants should not be simply dismissed as uninteresting "freaks", but rather warrant further investigation.

And when these investigations take place, hopefully a specimen will be anatomically examined by a professional scientist, and the true answer behind its identity will finally be known.

Sources: Coleman, Loren. 1993. "Crypto-Zoo News," Strange Magazine , Fall-Winter, p. 28-29 // Shuker, Karl P.N. 1993. The Lost Ark . London: Harper Collins // Shuker, Karl P.N. 1995. Personal communication, August 19. // Shuker, Karl P.N. 1995. Personal communication, October 23.

Additional Information

FURCICERATOPSIDAE

The furciceratopsids form the largest family of Asian ceratopsians, with over a dozen species, ranging from small forest dwellers to the giant megahorns. They have generalised dentition, a large narrow nasal horn or series of hornlets and prominent jugal spikes.

Most have spiny or stud-like osteoderms set in their scaly hide. They tend to be unfussy feeders, eating any greenery they can easily get to.

Most of the larger species are known to be extremely nearsighted and bad-tempered. Even giant priscataurs will usually give an adult megahorn a wide berth. Smaller forms on the other hand can be extremely shy and cryptic.

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(Indian megahorns, the largest living furciceratopsids, range from eastern India to the shores of the South China Sea. Females and young live in small herds whilst adult males are usually solitary.

Their preferred habitat is grassland and open areas in forests, usually close to a watercourse where they wallow and bathe. Its powerful beak can demolish even the toughest of plants.

Research suggests that the extracts of the Megahorn's horn possesses an extremely potent aphrodisiac quality and could form the basis of a highly lucrative pharmaceutical trade.

Source: http://www.bowdoin.edu/~dbensen/Spec/Cenoceratopsia.html

Do we really know what dinosaurs looked liked or how they behaved?

Putting a dinosaur skeleton together is not easy. It is often like putting together a very difficult jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing or damaged. The skeletons are usually very incomplete.

Many dinosaur fossils are discovered badly damaged. Bones are often found crushed or bent by the great weight of the dirt and rock above. Sometimes parts from different creatures are mixed together. This just adds to the confusion.

Unfortunately, some scientists have not been careful enough in their descriptions of dinosaurs. They have told grand stories of how dinosaurs looked and behaved. All of these descriptions are based on guesswork - the imaginations of people who have never seen a living dinosaur.

Some scientists have made complete pictures of dinosaurs based on just a single bone or tooth or leg. Such pictures are based on many guesses and very little facts. The scientists' ideas often turn out to be wrong when more facts are discovered.

Dinosaur fossils are not found with labels or photographs attached showing what the animals looked like. That is why no pictures of dinosaurs are exactly right. Every dinosaur painting is sure to contain at least some wrong information. No artist ever saw the living, breathing animals - complete with skin, flesh and color.

For instance, imagine never having seen or heard of a poodle or a peacock. One day you find the jumbled bones of one buried in the ground. You try to put the bones together to form a skeleton. And then you try to draw a picture of what the animal looked like when alive.

But bones cannot tell the whole story. Even if you are a very good artist, it would be a miracle if you drew a true picture of a poodle or a peacock just from the bones and your imagination.

If scientists could climb into a time machine and travel to the past, they could get much better information. Only then would they know the true appearance of dinosaurs or what they ate and how they really behaved.

Scientists might be very surprised at what they would learn.

Excerpt from The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible, Accent Books, 1987

Author: Paul S. Taylor of Eden Communications Copyright 1995, Eden Communications, All Rights Reserved

Copyright s8int.com 2005

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