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.


  1. Nice sense of movement.
    That fore-shortening isn't working for me at the moment. At that scale difference (head/body as compared with body / tail) he's got a sauropodish neck.

  2. Not to be a meany-head, but I'm getting more of a "dilophosaur" vibe than a "spinosaur" vibe here. Most notably, the neck, despite foreshortening, looks almost twice as long as it should be. Very active and pushing that gracile predator angle more than is typical, but that's a good thing since it's typical posture is either on all fours (ugh!) or plodding along or grabbing a fish and being generally inert.

  3. Thanks for the comments - it's what I put the work up for and I value the critique. I think you'e right about the neck - way too long when I look at it with fresh eyes. This (as you observed David) is due t the attempt at foreshortening.

    Time to make some adjustments.

  4. Yeah I agree in this version (I've just seen the revision) definately has a Dilphosaur or Prosauropod feel about em...