28b. Trachodon Twice Restored, 1912

Photo

Henry F. Osborn, in his article on the Trachodon mummy, not only showed photographs of the mummy and details of the skin (see item 28a), but included two restorations of Trachodon. The first, and more familiar, is a painting by Charles Knight, that depicts two Trachodon, one in the familiar bipedal position, and the other in a quadrupedal position. But, as Osborn pointed out in the text, it is a quadrupedal position with a difference, since the front limbs are in a "balancing" rather than a "sustaining" position. Knight's painting was based on a recent mount of a pair of Trachodon in the American Museum of Natural History.

Photo

The other restoration is much less familiar. It was apparently drawn by Osborn himself, and shows Trachodon, in the full bipedal position, but wearing a skin that is covered with tubercles. Osborn speculated in the paper that Trachodon may well have had a pronounced color pattern, since modern reptiles that have different size tubercles usually show considerable color variation on their skin.

The Trachodon that Knight depicted was considered at the time to be T. mirabilis. The Trachodon mummy, and the Osborn restoration, were regarded as T. annectens.


Source

Osborn, Henry Fairfield. "Integument of the iguanodon dinosaur Trachodon," in: Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History, new series, vol. 1 (1912), pp. 33-54. This work is part of our History of Science Collection, but it was NOT included in the original exhibition.

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