Saturday, 6 August 2011
Baryonyx rough sketch
Here's a rough sketch for an illustration I'm working on of the Wealden theropod Baryonyx walkeri. B. walkeri is known from the Upper Weald Clay of Sussex and from isolated bones and teeth on the Isle of Wight, and as the type specimen was found with Lepidotes scales in the stomach region (Martill and Naish, 2001) there are reasonable grounds to speculate that it was in part at least, a piscivore.
This reconstruction is based on information from the excellent book Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight although I've made alterations to the back which reflects findings by Hutt and Newbery (2004) which describe a large theropod vertebra with a tall neural spine which they assigned to B. walkeri, and indicated that Baryonyx had a low dorsal sail similar to Suchomimus tenerensis, which Hutt and other workers considered a junior synonym of Baryonyx.
The fascinating vertebra mentioned in Hutt and Newbery's paper now resides in Dinosaur Farm Museum on the Military Road, on the Isle of Wight. This museum has some really excellent specimens but last time I was there suffered from uninformative labelling and a general lack of consistency in the way the fossils were presented, and the whole impression was rather slapdash. Hopefully it's improved and is still worth a visit.
Martill, D. M. and Naish, D. (eds). 2001. Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association, 9, 252pp.
Hutt, S. and Newbery, P. 2004. An Exceptional Theropod Vertebra from the Wessex Formation (Lower Cretaceous) Isle of Wight, England. Proc Isle of Wight nat. Hist. Archaeol Soc. 20, 61-76.