Nightmarish sketches reveal what modern animals would look like if we drew them in the same way as dinosaurs based on their skeletons
- Palaeoartist C. M. Kosemen believes there was more to the shapely dinosaurs
- Mr Kosemen has made his point by re-imagining modern day animals
- A streamlined swan with featherless wings is pictured with a toothy baboon
Dinosaurs have always been illustrated as a bony lot, and is it any wonder when much of what palaeontologists have to base their reconstructions on are bones?
Palaeoartist C. M. Kosemen believes that there was more to the shapely dinosaurs than has been depicted, including larger layers of fat and areas of soft tissue.
He believes Hollywood is to blame for giving dinosaurs their skeletal ‘monster’ image.
In a series of sketches Mr Kosemen has set about making that point by re-imagining modern day animals from their skeletons.
A streamlined swan with featherless wings is pictured on land with a scaly back in one re-imagination while a fur-less baboon terrifies with its exposed fangs.
A modern-day swan – imagined using its skeleton in a streamlined version of reality
The palaeoartist explains that the ‘shrink wrap’ effect, where dinosaurs are imagined as skeletons covered in skin, is largely due to inaccuracies in Hollywood.
Mr Koseman told MailOnline: ‘I don’t think the fault lies with scientists, but with popular science illustrators.
‘They depicted dinosaurs without comparison to extant (existing) animals; and unintentionally copied the mistakes of less-knowledgeable illustrators across a game of pictorial telephone that has lasted for 40+ years.
‘Certain Hollywood films also have a bad reputation of representing dinosaurs as basic “monsters”.
‘It is really surprising how many dinosaur-themed films and artworks were prepared without referencing the fossils themselves.’
A scary looking baboon re-imagined from its skeleton – it appears to have a dinosaur-like tail
C. M. Kosemen is an artist and independent researcher born in Ankara, Turkey in 1984
An artist and designer by trade with a self-taught background in evolution, zoology and palaeontology, Mr Koseman said he was first prompted to draw the series when faced with the x-rays of a crocodile.
He told MailOnline: ‘In my art, I try to depict original details and concepts by comparing fossils to structures found in real animals.
‘I was first prompted to draw this series when I saw x-rays of a crocodile.
‘Even this dinosaur relative had far more fat, muscles and soft tissues on its body than most of our dinosaur depictions; which were as skinny as Medieval paintings of plague victims.
‘I then decided to research animal anatomy and its comparisons to dinosaurs in depth, and together with my friends artist John Conway and zoologist Darren Naish, published our body of artwork and writings in our 2012 book, All Yesterdays.’
Very hungry hippo! Here the researcher and artist imagines a modern day hippo – its teeth are more exposed and the structures of its face more pronounced
Among structural issues, Mr Koseman also believes palaeontologists often hit the mark with the fur, feathers and colouring of animals.
He believes patchy ‘roadkill’ fur is often awarded to animals – where fur was found on one part of a fossil – without the consideration that it may have covered the whole body.
Plumage with colouring from other birds such as the unique green-headed mallard is also wrongly put upon the feathered birds by over enthusiastic artists.
Mr Koseman believes the incredible genetic variation seen in today’s world would have existed then meaning each dinosaur species was likely to have its unique set of colours rather than mirroring one that exists today.
An Elephant (left) , Zebra (top) , and Rhino look markedly different from what palaeontologists may have imagined them to look like from just bones
A common error is the over exaggeration of teeth for the scare factor said Mr Koseman.
He told Buzzfeed: ‘In the real world, even lizards have a sort of gummy tissue covering their mouths.
‘The teeth, even in really large-toothed animals, are seldom visible.
‘The most common error is taking the skeleton and putting in muscle, and then shrink-wrapping the skin onto that shape.
‘This ignores fat deposits, flaps of skin and other soft tissue that living animals have.’