Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Plateosaurus engelhardti by ScottHartman Plateosaurus engelhardti by ScottHartman
Plateosaurus means "flat reptile", a name that was long poked fun at in the days of Godzilla-inspired upright postures. Then prosauropods suffered through a "they are all quadrupedal" phase (which I participated in), which still made a mockery of the name, as the position contorted the body so that the tail had to arc up into the air above the body. Well, it turns out that Plateosaurus-grade "prosauropods" used a low-slung subplantigrade bipedal posture instead which makes "flat reptile" not such a bad name after all...

Update: Brought the silhouette up to date. I went with the "fat tail" style contour for the ventral margin (the bottom!) of the tail, as many extant diapsids are like this, and with the low fourth trochanter and high transverse processes Plateosaurus is a prime candidate to have had similarly large caudofemoralis muscles.
Add a Comment:
 

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconbhut:
bhut Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014
One of the best known prosauropods (thanks to WWD)...
Reply
:iconaidanbodeo:
aidanbodeo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Student General Artist
I love your work. Is all of this data still accurate today? I am very interested in Plateosaurus. :) It won't let me submit the link, but my only deviation at the moment is my interpretation of this reconstruction. I read that they are now believed to not be a direct ancestor of the sauropods, but rather share a common ancestor. What do you think about this? Thanks so much!
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hi Aidan - Yes, it's still up to date. In fact it's been independently vetted by a 3D scan of the same specimen, so it's about as up to date as it can be. As for being a direct ancestor of sauropods, there really isn't any modern way to test whether a specific genus is directly ancestral to a whole group of dinosaurs. Instead we try to investigate relative branching points, which is why you see diagrams with the names only on the ends of a branch, not at the branch points. Certainly something more or less like Plateosaurus gave rise to sauropods, but there were a lot of intermediate steps. The wikipedia sauropodomorph page has a pretty decent overview on current thinking of prosauropod/sauropod relationships.

Cheers!
Reply
:iconzewqt:
ZeWqt Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
I have a question: As Plateosaurus was unable to pronate its wirts, could it be possible for this Dinosaur to walk on all fours like an Anteater, you know, something like walking on its knuckles? I ask that because I'm not sure about the flexibility of its fingers and its scapula (I guess they weren't really flexible though)...
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Plateosaurus actually has fingers that let the hand be placed on the ground. The problem for any sort of quadrupedal locomotion isn't the hand but rather the motion of the limb overall. Plateosaurus wouldn't have had a problem dropping to all fours, it just wasn't going anywhere in particular when down there.
Reply
:iconzewqt:
ZeWqt Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
Okay, thanks for the info. :)
Reply
:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Reply
:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Student Artist
Looks like prosauropods has finally standing on two legs is didn't standing on all fours.
Reply
:icondarthgojira:
DarthGojira Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
I keep forgetting how short the front limbs are. While I'm sure that it could move quadrupedally, seeing the proportions here really shows them as bipeds.
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Actually the problem isn't with the arm length (although that would make quadrupedal movement slow at best), but with wrist mobility. At this point on the sauropodomorph tree the hands are stuck in a theropod-like "palms always in" position that makes quadrupedal locomotion basically impossible.

I'm not saying they couldn't crouch down on all fours, say if they wanted to eat something low to the ground, or duck down to hide under some (tall!) brush, but they sure weren't going anywhere on all fours, as there was no plausible stride.

BTW, this isn't just "hey I read the paper" talk (although there's some excellent work published on it), Heinrich Mallison and I spent a good couple of hours with a full 3D scan of an a Plateosaurus hand trying to get them to walk (I favored facultative quadrupedality at the time), and it just wasn't possible, despite enthusiasm for making it work.
Reply
:icondarthgojira:
DarthGojira Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
Fascinating. I didn't know that. I knew that the theropods had "palms in" posture, but it's new to me about prosauropods. I suppose the wrist rotated as they became heavier. This is really interesting. I wonder if there was a similar wristbending when ornithopods became semi-quadrupedal
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, the palms-facing-in thing is primitive for Dinosauria. There was indeed a similar inward bend in ornithopods on the way to hadrosaurs, but they never got as far (neither did ceratopsians), as both end up with something closer to a 45 degree inward cant to their hands, while sauropods get the hand facing a bit more inward (thought still never with the palms facing perfectly backwards).
Reply
:iconblazze92:
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
I always thought that Plateosaurus had a goofy (if not ugly) head mmm, btw what's the thing below its jaw?
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It is a bit goofy looking in a way. The bone beneath the mandible is the hyoid - the bones that support the tongue muscles.
Reply
:iconblazze92:
bLAZZE92 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
mmm I thought those were smaller, thanks.
Reply
:iconaction-figure-opera:
action-figure-opera Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
The belly ribs, I don't know their proper name, what supported them other than muscle?
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The technical name is "gastralia", and nothing supports them except for muscles and ligaments, although in theropods at least they do overlap one another on the midline in a herringbone fashion.
Reply
:iconaction-figure-opera:
action-figure-opera Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
I assume they served to protect the intestines, but wouldn't the added weight of bone increase the amount of jiggle?
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
No, if anything they should reduce the jiggle, as they provide stiffness by articulating with one another. Saurishian gastralia evolved their odd configuration at least in part to help power breathing (because the herringbone articulation causes them to widen or narrow the thoracic cavity as they are pulled in or out), although sauropodomorphs eventually lose them in favor of some other ventilation system, so I'm not exactly sure how important of a role they played in breathing in Plateosaurus.

They probably also play a protective role, although again they are lost (or at least greatly reduced) on the way to true sauropods, so whatever they were doing it didn't stick around too long.
Reply
:iconbrolyeuphyfusion9500:
brolyeuphyfusion9500 Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Actually, they weren't really lost, gastralia seems to be found in sauropods even as "derived" as Jobaria...

[link]
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
There is still some debate about whether any of the "gastralia" reported from neosauropods are actually sternal ribs. Having worked on "Eobrontosaurus" yahnapin I can say that there may be good reason to be skeptical of claims of sauropod gastralia, although I haven't seen the Jobaria specimens first hand.
Reply
:iconaction-figure-opera:
action-figure-opera Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
They were mooching.
Reply
:iconzegh8578:
ZEGH8578 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
Prosauropods get a whole new feel being posed like this. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but I really like it. Well, I guess one thing it does is to make the much more theropod-like, which is evolutionary logical also, seeing that they are close relatives still, at this point. Big beefy tail!
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Agreed on all points!
Reply
:icondobermunk:
dobermunk Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Hi Scott,

I've begun reconstructing plateosaurus based on your reconstruction. (Fantastic and thanks for sharing!)
[link]

I also fed parts of the reconstruction from the sculptures at the Stuttgarter NaturkundeMuseum in there, and want to do a version based on Greg Paul's as well. His might arguably be a quadrepedal pose, but the upraised tail makes for an interesting variation.

I'd love feedback, if you should have time... particularly as to the lipless head and jaw rotation. 3D demands exactness that is difficult to get out of the flattened fossils and profile reconstructions.
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Hey dobermunk,

There is actually very little chance that Plateousaurus spent much time on all fours, unless it happened to want to eat something from the ground. It actually couldn't turn its hands inward even as much as you've sculpted it in your 3D version.

As for Greg Paul's version, the main reason his has the tail up in the air is because he
s forced it into a 3D pose; with the back angled down it forces the tail up. There otherwise is not too much of a difference in the hind quarters and tail between his version and mine.

Good luck with your project!
Reply
:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
So if Plateosaurus only walked on two legs, is the same true for all prosauropods.
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
No, walking on two legs is primitive for basal sauropodomorphs ("prosauropods"), and more advanced ones like Melanorosaurus walked on all fours. That said, most of the prosauropods that people are familiar with seem to have only moved around on two legs.
Reply
:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
So only a few basal sauropodomorphs (prosauropods) were actually quadrepedal.
Reply
:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
I like it how it's bipedal. All others are always quadrupedal. Plateosaurus is a blessing. He's kind of becoming underrated due to all the newest discoveries and so on, but few appreciate Plateosaurus' importance.
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Amusingly, I really did NOT like that it was bipedal, but even before Bonan & Senter published their paper I got to play with scan data from a complete plateosaur hand and there is little doubt the guys just were not habitual bipeds. The data overules my aesthetic preference; besides, I'm getting used to it now.
Reply
:iconemperordinobot:
EmperorDinobot Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
I can picture a Plateosaurus getting off their front limbs and galloping a bit to get away from an enemy (unlikely), maybe just to free their hands and use them to smack others...
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
The thing to keep in mind is that Plateosaurus evolved from bipedal ancestors. So they aren't "freeing" their hands, that's just the condition they inherited. In fact their arms are more robust than basal sauropodomorphs, so they were probably better at hanging out on all fourss when they wanted to, but their wrists show that they were not walking anywhere very significant on their hands yet.
Reply
:iconashere:
Ashere Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
finaly, a good prosauropod restoration!
(begins drawing furiously)
excellent work, as always.
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome, I look forward to seeing it. Remember that Plateosaurus' rib cage is still fairly narrow side to side, so don't make it too sauropod-like.

Of course, it's not Coelophysis either. Sorry I don't have time to do a top view reconstruction right now...
Reply
:iconashere:
Ashere Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Gotcha. You have seen my gallery, right?
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Of course, I try my best to keep tabs on the paleo-illustraters on Deviant.
Reply
:iconsteveoc86:
Steveoc86 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
Great work! Out of curiousity whats that funny bone in its throat?
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Hyoids. Large and well ossified in multiple Plateosaurus specimens (referred to as "ceratohyoids" in the literature, although the developmental homology is hard to test...).
Reply
:iconsteveoc86:
Steveoc86 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
Oh, ok never herd of these in a dino before...thanks! :)
Reply
:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Actually, lots of the articulated early Cretaceous specimens from China have hyoids, and a large set was preserved in the juvenile Scipionyx, so they are probably common. The question would be if they normall fuse, and if the relative size can tell us anything (like, if they are large, did they help support a throat pouch?).
Reply
:iconsteveoc86:
Steveoc86 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
I was reading a post on the DML, quite a few with them. Before today I had never heard of them. I just wish there were more definitive ways to know about soft tissue features like throat pouches when you have just bones. When I watch nature docs you realise that there are so many bazaar features (not to mention behaviours) on present day animals that would rarely fossilise.....
Reply
:iconmegalania1859:
Megalania1859 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008
prehistoric animals sometimes have odd names. Like Effigia. Should we burn that croc an effigy?
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
February 20, 2008
Image Size
1.9 MB
Resolution
4465×3000
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
6,217 (1 today)
Favourites
99 (who?)
Comments
43
×