Thursday, May 03, 2018

What Is It?

Because paleontologists only work with bones, they often don't put fur, feathers, or soft tissue skin flaps on their specimens when they show or mount them in museums.

With that idea in mind, this is what a modern animal might look like if it were similarly mounted.

What do you think it is?

Answer:  A baboon.  The folks who guessed are almost certainly doing a reverse image search, or perhaps they stumbled across this article on Atlas Obscura, as this drawing is so wild that it could also serve for any of the longer-tailed monkeys, from various lemurs to several types of macaque. By the way, using the Google is never cheating!

Baboon skulls are extremely variable, and all the species interbreed  My guess, however, is that this is a male Chacma babboon skull based on the very large bulge at the back in the occipital lobe region....  and the fact that the clip art, below, is not hard to find.

And what might other animals look like if drawn by modern paleontologists using bones alone as their clues? 

A zebra, an elephant, and a rhinoceros are shown below. The art is from C.M. Kosemen, an Istanbul artist and co-author (with John Conway and Darren Naish) of the 2012 book, All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals.


Edze said...

I would guess a baboon?

Heather Hawke said...

Nothing seems really right but I'm going for Opossum.

Edze said...

Ha, had it in one!