There are only five “pages” in each of these books despite their 3-inch thickness. That is because each page is stuffed with layers and layers of ingenious interacting bits of printed paper, which magically assemble themselves into an alternate reality when each page is opened. Yes, it is a pop-up book, but a pop-up raised to an exponential level. A pop-up on steroids, or acid. Pop-up as extreme sport. The engineering is astounding. As a page is opened a 3D apparition appears, often with its own narrative, first one part and then another. The resulting paper sculpture is the story made real. The textual story is minimal; all the action is in the structures. Kids love to see how they work. The only downside to these books that belong on paper is not letting children paws tear the mechanics. These two books feature all kinds of pre-historic dinosaurs, and sharks of all types. But the artist behind them, Robert Sabuda, has half a dozen other books with the same kind of extreme pop-up-ness.
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart Candlewick 2006, 12 pages, 7.8 x 9.9 x 2.1 inches $1 - $50 Buy a copy on Amazon
Cartoonist Winsor McCay was best known as the creator of the hallucinatory Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend newspaper comic strips. Fewer people know that he was also the creator of the first animated dinosaur to appear in the movies (Gertie the Dinosaur, 1914). But hardly anyone knows that when McCay died in 1934, he was at work on a new comic strip called Dino, about a dinosaur that awakens after sleeping for 65-million years and befriends a young girl and her brother in New York City.
One person who knows is McCay historian Ulrich Merkl, who has put together a massive, astounding book about McCay and his influence in depictions of rampaging dinosaurs, robots, apes, and monsters in popular culture. Every page is loaded with eye-popping art from the early 20th century, much of it never reprinted before now. People of that era were just as hungry for city-destroying cinematic behemoths as we are today, and Merkl convincingly makes the case that it was McCay who whetted our appetite for them. If you like illustrations from the 1900s, you will go ape over Dinomania.
Dinomania: The Lost Art of Winsor McCay, The Secret Origins of King Kong, and the Urge to Destroy New York by Ulrich Merkl Fantagraphics 2015, 304 pages, 11.9 x 15.9 x 1.2 inches $54 Buy one on Amazon
In the United States we get a “Raptor Encounter” at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, where the beastie is kept in a paddock and limited in its interaction with visitors. He’s playful and sometimes snorts in a mildly scary way.
In Japan, on the other hand, they get an Allosaurus stomping around onstage, terrorizing the audience, who bites a spectator’s head!
Which do you want to see?
“This video made me laugh out loud,” said paleontologist Leif Tapanila, director of the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Read the rest
This fine Velociraptor Claw could really level up your wunderkammer. It's just $12,500. Read the rest
Columbia University paleontologist Paul Olsen: "Absolutely nothing about this... is even vaguely correct." Read the rest
Entirely happy to use the word "chickenosaurus," NBC News reports that scientists are getting closer to creating a throwback creature by messing with avian DNA: "From a quantitative point of view, we're 50 percent there," a professor of paleontology told them.
Injuries inflicted on a tyrannosaurus in life appear to be inflicted by another tyrannosaurus. But a new research paper reports similar injuries on another t-rex skull inflicted after death, suggesting that tyrannosaurus scavenged its own kind.
There is no evidence that the animal died at the hands (or mouth) of another tyrannosaur. However, the preservation of the skull and other bones, and damage to the jaw bones show that after the specimen began to decay, a large tyrannosaur (possibly of the same species) bit into the animal and presumably ate at least part of it. Combat between large carnivorous dinosaurs is already known and there is already evidence for cannibalism in various groups, including tyrannosaurs. This is however an apparently unique record with evidence of both pre- and post-mortem injuries to a single individual.