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Submitted on
June 6, 2008
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1.4 MB


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Majungasaurus - redux by ScottHartman Majungasaurus - redux by ScottHartman
Finally! After an eternity of revisions and attempts to reconcile the proportions of specimens of different ages that frequently didn't overlap, I feel confident I've nailed the general proportions.

With generous aid from several people ("credits" below) I figured out that the legs weren't actually too short in my original skeletal - in fact I ended up making them too long in my most recent attempt. Instead, the vertebrae and ribs based on UA 8678 (that would be the cervicals, dorsals, sacrals, and 5 anterior caudals) were scaled up too large.

That's an important distinction, as scaling them down had a chain-reaction on the relative size of the head, pelvic and pectoral girdles, etc.

It's still a strange and somewhat low-slung theropod, but nothing like my previous attempts. I should note that there weren't any mathematical scaling errors - rather, the way I chose to reconcile the axial series of UA 8678 to the larger tail and head of FMNH PR 2100 was wrong (the latter has proportionately taller neural spines, which is probably an ontogenetic feature).

Obviously newer data could require some nips or tucks, but I honestly think you are safe to illustrate Majungasaurus now. I know I plan to!

Special thanks (in alphabetical order) go out to Matt Carrano, David Krause, Adam Pritchard, and Scott Sampson, all of whom who provided excellent critiques and made this version possible (not to mention the research and publications the restoration is based on).

Now I'm going to go find a bottle of champagne to pop...
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Tras ser conocido por numerosos cráneos y esqueletos bien preservados, el Majungasaurus ha llegado a ser uno de los dinosaurios terópodos más estudiados del Hemisferio Sur. Aparentemente estaba más relacionado con los abelisáuridos de la India que con los de Sudamérica o África continental, lo cual tiene importantes repercusiones biogeográficas. El Majungasaurus era el superpredador de su ecosistema, cazando principalmente saurópodos como el Rapetosaurus, y siendo también el único dinosaurio del cual hay evidencia directa de canibalismo.Aunque los brazos no disponen de mucha evidencia, se reconoce que estos eran muy pequeños, mientras las patas eran largas y robustas me gusta.
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acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014
Where are its limbs?
*gets out microscope*
Oh, there they are.

Seriously, WTF evolution, reducing this to near limblessness and hen giving it a really weird head?
Dinopithecus Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014
Does anyone have an explanation as to why the coracoid is apparently so big in Majungasaurus (and at least some abelisaurids)? What did they need it for?
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Lots of abelisaurids, and there's no widely agreed upon explanation. FWIW the anterior length of the scapula ahead of the glenoid fossa probably supported expanded lower neck muscles, so the expansion of the coracoid area below it may simply have followed along. On the other hand, increased acceleration of the neck may have also necessitated  enlarged pectoral and latissimus muscles to counteract it, so perhaps that played a role.
acepredator Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014
The most useless set of arms and legs ever.
Surf-By-Shootin Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
For the short legs and lengthened body, it looks like it would be a great swimmer. With its hands to its side, long neck and tail (which is  in line with the rest of the body) it must have been a habitual swimmer, its horizontal gait is similar to a swimming varanid. Who knows how far back the legs can be pulled back. Abelisaurs and their large caudofemoral muscles would make great surface swimmers with their powerful hind leg strokes. Having short legs means less dangling legs (fossilized claw marks indicate that toes were pointed down for theropod swimming and was a problem) which would mean less slow wading.…

Seeing how many abelisaur heads and necks are designed for powerful sustained bite grips, they may have used this at times to drown their prey. As for having rough, armored and uneven scales, crocodilians use this to reduce water disturbance.
PedroSalas Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
robosawrus Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
I dont know if this helps, but this is a common problem when dealing with composite skeletons that consist of differing ontogenetic ages. My solution involved the dimensions of the centra of the overlapping portions of the common elements of FMNH PR 2100 and 8678. after everything was at the same scale, i came up with two reduction ratios one was centrum height, one was centrum length. I then superimposed the vertebrae accoding to each parameter and noted what was different, larger, thicker, taller, etc. I ended up going with the cntrum length ratio. I then modified the remaining FMNH PR 2100 vertebrae to backdate them ontogenetically based on the changes seen in the superimposed common vertebrae.

I filled in the space underneath and between the articulations of the haemeal arches, added mass to the tops of the neural arches, and increased the height of the neural spines and their width at the base. This recreates what I beleive would be these vertebrae in the ontogenetic state of the younger animal. Centrum dimensions seem to be more conservative measurements for this purpose than measurements of any other part of the vertebra.
dobermunk Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Filmographer
those legs... are so ... underwhlemed.
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yes they are. It's a really strange animal.
RulerOfLions Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012
Were it's legs really that short?
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