Imagine a kid walking in a dark museum, and a skeleton of the largest dinosaur, Argentinosaurus suddenly, magically came to life and a real living dinosaur walks off its plinth and looks down at you. Sounds silly does it. I think it was a plot of an old TV show or anime somewhere. And the bones we see on display are not real bones, but replicas and new bones created by skilled craftsman based off casts of real bones and estimations based off other animals. For Argentinosaurus for example, paleontologists found only a hip bone, a few spine and leg bones, no neck bones and no skull.
Still, I think I have been thinking of my late Grandfather and how he fed my love of Dinosaurs, a love I have had since I was a kid. I feel that many dinosaur loving kids like me would have loved to see one of these giants walking around.
I sketched this while I was in California, attending a memorial service for my grandfather who died at the beginning of the pandemic and my family could not have a ceremony for him until almost a year later due to the pandemic. My grandfather was devoted to Paleotology, he did not take simple answers and approached theories from multiple angles. For example he did not believe that an asteroid alone caused the dinosaurs to become extinct. He did not deny it might have happened but he felt there was more to the Great Cretaceous Extinction than an asteroid impact. The most important fact that I learned from my Grandfather is that in Paleontology, one discovery can disprove every other theory other scientists have made. For all we know Argentinosaurus may not be a sauropod as it is currently depicted but a giant hadrosaur. I’ll never forget you Granddad. I’ll probably do more Paleo art to honor him.
For the dinosaur in the painting, I based it off the most common theories of Argentinosaurus. It’s believed to be a giant sauropod of the titanosaur family. Fossils have been found in a farm in Neuguen, Argentina in the Huincul Formation and it is estimated that it lived in the Late Cretaceous period around 97 to 93 million years ago. Argentinosaurus is a contender for the biggest animal that ever lived, estimations based on the bones found and other titanosaurs suggests it size might have ranged from 98ft to 133ft and weighed about 80 to 100 tonnes. The skeleton next to the Argentinosauras is a Mapusaurus, a large predator found in the same formation as Argentinosaurus. Estimated at 38 to 41ft long its a contender for the biggest predator Dinosaur, even bigger than T-Rex.
I hope you like the painting and I am open to feedback.