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Finally, an aetosaur! by ScottHartman Finally, an aetosaur! by ScottHartman
Stagonolepis, the eponymous stagonolepid aetosaur. These odd, beaked, croc-line archosaurs were sort of like armored pig-crocs, apparently using their upturned snouts to root around for roots and other vegetative matter, and possibly insects and grubs (though the latter is more controversial). They were very successful for a brief time in the latter parts of the Triassic, and then were gone, along with the loss of most other crurotarsans.

I avoided doing an aetosaur for a long time (and pushed this commission back to the last possible moment). Not only is the armor obviously a huge pain, but the vertebral column was poorly documented and I was concerned that it would prevent me from restoring even the basic shape of the animal. After talking about this with some other researchers and amassing a ton of papers and photos, it turns out that Walker's venerable 1961 monograph on Stagonolepis actually had some of the key data in it that I needed. So here you go.
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:iconindigomagpie:
indigomagpie Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016
Is that an upright posture?
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:icontrilobitecannibal:
TrilobiteCannibal Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yup
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:iconaspidel:
aspidel Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Anyway it's a good idea to have commissioned you for unusual archosaurs.
When I find the time for some more drawings...
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016
Crocodiles\crocodymorphs were truly the most successful group isn't it ? An omnivorus boar croc ? Always welcome :D
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:iconapgigan:
Apgigan Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016   Traditional Artist
Since you seem to be doing a lot of Triassic reptiles.....why not Longisquama? Most of the skeletals I've seen are either really old or David Peters. Longisquama needs some love! (Not demanding or anything)
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
The short and easy (if cynical) answer is that Longisquama wasn't on the list of commissions that these were on.
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:iconapgigan:
Apgigan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Traditional Artist
Ok...
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:iconpurple-hermit:
purple-hermit Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
A rather unusual creature. It walked flat on it's hindfeet?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Most croc-line archosaurs are plantigrade on their hind feet.
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:iconarvalis:
arvalis Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016
I gotta ask, how much does one of these cost to commission?  I can't imagine how much research goes into each of your skeletals. 
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:iconzegh8578:
ZEGH8578 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 12, 2016
Careful! After the Scutellosaur armor, now this one, we´re gonna start expecting unarmored + armored AND one showing only the known fossils! 3 in one! Oh man, I can´t wait! =D
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:iconzopteryx:
ZoPteryx Featured By Owner Edited Jan 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic work! :)  Good skeletals on these sorts of animals are so hard to come by.  Hopefully there's more odd crurotarsans in store the future, though I totally understand if there's not, what with all the armor plating and all. ;)

Is it just me, or does the snout actually look sort of delicate for an animal that's supposed to be using it for digging?  Is it more robust in dorsal view?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
There's no immediate plans for additional crurotarsans, although I think I could get aetosaurs done more quickly now. The big nasal opening does make the snout look a bit delicate. The snout may have been covered in a horny beak, which would have certainly reinforced it.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
These things look so cool. Glad to see someone made a skeletal of them :)
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:iconpaleo-reptiles:
Paleo-reptiles Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016
Dear Scott, I should tell you "Thank you for drawing these valuable illustrations". but I think it is good that that outer bones(armored bones) have a gray color for recognize of bones inside body!
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:iconjeda45:
Jeda45 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 10, 2016
If you keep doing all of these skeletals of osteoderm-bearing animals, you're going to become known as Scute Hartman.

Aetosaur? More like neatosaur.
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:iconxstreamchaosofficial:
XStreamChaosOfficial Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool!
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:iconcjcroen:
CJCroen Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ooh, strange!
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:iconeclecticmanta:
EclecticManta Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I don't blame you for dreading that armor. It has so many parts!! This is amazing though I honestly never even thought these animals existed!! Armored pig-crocs. Gotta do some more research on these myself haha
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:iconqueenserenity2012:
QueenSerenity2012 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016
Between this and your recent Coelophysis I'm in skeletal reconstruction heaven!
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:icontheblazinggecko:
theblazinggecko Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So they had ventral plates / osteoderms on it's belly?  Seems like an advantage Ankylosaurs missed out on, why must nature be so cruel?
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:iconeriorguez:
Eriorguez Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016
Ah, it is good to see skeletals of those animals not made by David Peters...
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:iconpachyornis:
Pachyornis Featured By Owner Edited Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist
Grrreat! :)
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:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
With that armour what was this animal defending itself from?
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:iconspinodontosaur4:
In addition to rauisuchians, some theropods got to surprisingly big sizes even in the Triassic. Herrerasaurus probably reached weights comparable to or greater than that of even the largest (verified) Polar Bear, whilst there are a pair of footprints from the Caturrita Formation that are referred to Eubrontes hinting at even larger theropods than that.

To give some context, the footprint is 43 cm long, comparable to Allosaurus specimen MOR 693 (~44 cm) and Ceratosaurus specimen UMNH 5278 (~40 cm). So we're talking about a ~7 meter long, ~1.9 meter tall theropod here, weighing over a tonne.
da Silva et al. (2012) actually estimate said footprint to come from an animal 2.1 meters tall at the hip, using methods proposed by Thulborn and Wade (1984) and Thulborn (1989), slightly higher than my own estimate.

Stagonolepis itself didn't encounter either Herrerasaurus or the large Eubrontes trackmaker, which are from Argentina and Brazil respectively whilst Stagonolepis is from Europe, but it may well have encountered theropods of a similar size given it was from roughly the same time (the Carnian stage of the Triassic). Even if Stagonolepis never encountered large theropods, some aetosaurs would have.
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:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the data. It's a fact I must learn more about the Triassic period :) (Smile) 
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:iconthescipio:
TheScipio Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Primarily Raisuchians like Postosuchus and the ilk. Those guys were like the Tyrannosaurids of the Triassic.
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:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, sure! I didn't know they were contemporaneous. Thanks.
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:iconweirda-s-m-art:
Weirda-s-M-art Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well said, FINALLY~!

I love Aetosaurs, they're one of my favourite groups among prehistoric animals :love:
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Their literature is a royal pain in the butt for doing skeletals from though. But now that I got this nut cracked I think I could more easily do the others, so perhaps at some point in the future I can do a run on them.
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:iconweirda-s-m-art:
Weirda-s-M-art Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What do you mean with you first sentence? :? I honestly cannot get it o be sure I understand that clear.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
All the papers published on aetosaurs don't share the sort of information I need to do skeletals from them (i.e. they don't document enough vertebrae, don't have enough tables of measurements, etc.). There's a lot of good science in them, just not enough of the data I need to do my job easily.
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:iconweirda-s-m-art:
Weirda-s-M-art Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I see.
Thanks for clearing that out! :iconbowplz:
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry, I'm reviewing lots of technical literature as I do these (and I'm doing them all waking hours) so I'm probably not speaking as plainly as I would otherwise.
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:iconweirda-s-m-art:
Weirda-s-M-art Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries, it might be also that english isn't mu 1st language, so I happen to not understand something. :aww:
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