Tenontosaurus \

TENONTOSAURUS

This was a small spot illustration for an article in issue #98 of Prehistoric Times magazine.  Tenontosaurus, a primitve iguanodont that live in Cretaceous North America, was unforetunatly, the white-tailed deer of dinosaurs-- a highly abundant herbivore without any outstanding features to give it the "cool" factor possessed by the more iconic dinosaurs such as Tyranosaurus, Triceratops, Ultrasaurus, Velociraptor, etc.  Even the animal's discoverer, Barnum Brown, showed little interest in the fossils.

In the rare instances where Tenontosaurus is depicted in art, it's usually being torn apart by a pack of Deinonychus.  This is because fossils of this hapless iguanodon are frequently found in association with these sickle-clawed predators.

 For my piece, though, I chose to depict my tenontosaurs feeding at a clay lick.  Modern animals flock to natural outcroppings of clay where they obtain essential minerals by eating the fine soil, and there's no reason to assume that prehistoric animals didn't do the same.  I found it kind of difficult to convey exactly what was going on, so I added in a couple of Tupuxuara pterosaurs colored like scarlet macaws as a visual cue.  I figured most people have seen those rather iconic pictures of macaws feeding at clay outcrops and would hopefully make the connection here. 

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Tenontosaurus ©2011 John Meszaros.  All Rights Reserved