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20th Century Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs in Literature, Art & History

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The Bone Yards

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Dinosaurs In Literature, History and Art:
Brachiosaurus Depiction on Dayak Culture(Borneo) Adz Handle? ....Page 60

Photo:Some citizens of Borneo in the late 1800's.

The brachiosaurus is a sauropod with a unique and distinctive bump or dome on top of its head. Current artists most often have chosen to model the brachiosaurus as though the dome was enclosed in skin rather than as a crest. This Dayak culture depiction (1800's) depicts the "dome" (if in fact this is a brachiosaurus) as a crest-not enclosed in skin.

It appears to us that the artist has possibly seen a live brachiosaurus and is depicting a slightly stylized version. It strikes us as well that depicting the animal this way indicates a high degree of familarity. Of course, you'll have to make up your own mind. The brachiosaurus and man are supposed to have missed each other by tens of millions of years.

Dayak Culture

"A gracefully carved wood adz handle in the form of an 'aso'." An aso is a traditional, mythological combination dog/dragon. "Bahau or Modang Dayak, Eastern Borneo. It measures 14-1/2" tall." The 1800s. Indoesian Tribal Art

"Dayak is a name of tribes that identifies the various indigenous peoples on the island of Borneo by the Indonesian part known as Kalimantan. They are divided into about 450 ethno-linguistic groups.

Despite some differences, these group share physical features, architecture, language, an oral tradition, customs, social structure, weapons, agricultural technology and a similar outlook on life.

Dayak population estimated at about four million spread over the four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan / Borneo, the Malaysian territories of Sabah and Serawak and Brunei Darussalam. In Sabah, the Dayak are known as Kadazandusun.

In the past, anthropologists described the Dayak as the "legendary natives of Borneo" who lived in longhouse and engaged in head-hunting. Today, they form a small minority, the loser in an era of swift change and modernization.

The original Dayak identity their cultural, economic, religious and political life has been preserved through their oral tradition. Experts agree that there are many basic affinitives in the legends of the various Dayak groups.

Sadly, though, all the original elements of Dayak life as described in the legends have suffered significantly from external elements" Bali Travel Online


"Brachiosaurus meaning "Arm Lizard", from the Greek brachion/βραχιων meaning 'arm' and sauros/σαυρος meaning 'lizard', was a genus of sauropod dinosaur which lived during the Late Jurassic Period.

It was thus named because its forelimbs were longer than its hind limbs. One of the largest animals ever to walk the earth, it has become one of the most famous of all dinosaurs and is widely recognised worldwide.

The 1800's Borneo tribal piece with current depictions of brachiosaurus and skull.

For many decades, Brachiosaurus was the largest dinosaur known. It has since been discovered that a number of giant titanosaurians (Argentinosaurus, for example) surpassed Brachiosaurus in terms of sheer mass.

More recently, another brachiosaurid, Sauroposeidon, has also been discovered; based on incomplete fossil evidence, it too is likely to have outweighed Brachiosaurus.

Brachiosaurus is often considered to be the largest dinosaur known from a relatively complete fossilized skeleton. However, the most complete specimens, including the Brachiosaurus in the Humboldt Museum of Berlin (excavated in Africa, the tallest mounted skeleton in the world), are members of the species B. brancai which some scientists consider to be part of a separate genus, Giraffatitan.

The holotype material of the type species, B. altithorax. includes a sequence of seven posterior dorsal vertebrae, sacrum, proximal caudal vertebra, coracoid, humerus, femur and ribs: enough from which to estimate size.... Wikipedia

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