Episode 14: The Art of Dinosaurs

Conjuring up extinct environments, museums, books, and documentaries rely on art to show extinct animals revitalized in their ancient surroundings. This type of educational reconstruction is called Paleoart (or Palaeoart for the UK inclined). They are usually striking portraits of the weird place this planet used to be. But, you look at an image of a roamingTyrannosaurus rex without wondering, “How much of that is real?” How do we know its bulk, its color, its environment, or its behavior? Where does the science start and the art (and hypothesizing) begin? Julius Csotonyi, a Candian paleoartist, sat down with us to discuss how he assembles his images which are on display in natural history museums across North America and fill his recently published book, The Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi. A single landscape by Julius is a blend of the latest knowledge from paleontologists, zoologists, paleobotanists, geologists, and geochemists, and as new information is learned, he is ready to update his paintings and present the world with a more accurate glimpse into the ancient past.

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