Nathan E. Rogers

Natural history illustration
Chasmosaurus in the Mountains

Chasmosaurus belli was a ceratopsid dinosaur that roamed the eastern coast of the island continent known as Laramidia about 75 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous of what is now North America.
Laramidia was separated from the eastern half of North America by the waters of the Western Interior Seaway – the American Midwest was full of fish and giant marine reptiles during the time of Chasmosaurus.
This image is somewhat speculative, as this mountainous terrain is not the type where we know Chasmosaurus could be found, but not outside the realm of possibility, either. Imagine, if you will, a large bull chasmosaur on a dangerous journey westward towards new lands…


Please do not reproduce or use without permission.

Chasmosaurus in the Mountains

Chasmosaurus belli was a ceratopsid dinosaur that roamed the eastern coast of the island continent known as Laramidia about 75 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous of what is now North America.

Laramidia was separated from the eastern half of North America by the waters of the Western Interior Seaway – the American Midwest was full of fish and giant marine reptiles during the time of Chasmosaurus.

This image is somewhat speculative, as this mountainous terrain is not the type where we know Chasmosaurus could be found, but not outside the realm of possibility, either. Imagine, if you will, a large bull chasmosaur on a dangerous journey westward towards new lands…

Please do not reproduce or use without permission.

The Ovi: An exercise in speculative evolution…I’ve been thinking for a while about what might have arisen if the dinosaurs hadn’t gone extinct, and if selective pressures were such that higher intelligence evolved. There have been some popular works on the subject over the years (the classic and extremely human-like “dinosauroids” of Dale Russell, Robert J. Sawyer’s “Quintaglio Ascension” trilogy of sci-fi books, and many other artists working on similar projects); this one is my take on the idea - sentient Oviraptorosaurs.
It seems most other similar projects tend to speculate on elevated cleverness evolving in the Paraves clade, and this makes sense: We know some of the most intelligent extant organisms on Earth (outside of the primates) are birds, especially the crows and ravens, and certain parrots. Some of their closest extinct non-avian dinosaur relatives are the Dromaeosaurids and Troodontids, and these fine animals are popular points of departure for speculative evolutionists. The Maniraptoran clade (of which Dromaeosaurids, Troodontids, modern birds, and Oviraptorosaurs are all a part) has some key attributes that we share: On Earth we have only one data point for human-level intelligence so far, so it seems logical to me to look for other organisms with similar traits when speculating on potential evolution of advanced tool-using intelligence – traits like large brains, high brain to body size ratios, grasping appendages (useful for manipulating the environment), bipedal motion (to keep those grasping appendages unoccupied), living on land (as smart as dolphins are, it would be hard to use fire, smelt metals etc. underwater), and a social structure that puts selective pressure on the ability to out-think and/or cooperate with others of your species.
Personally, I favored the Oviraptorosaurs in part to differentiate my own fiction from the rest. Oviraptorosaurian brain/body ratio may not have been quite as high as that found in the Troodontids, for example, but they do have one additional interesting trait that is similar to our own hominid forebears: probable omnivory. It seems to me that hominid and corvid intelligence may be at least partly linked to social interaction with conspecifics, but also with problem-solving to exploit different food resources. The Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids, it seems, were more likely obligate carnivores and thus would have less evolutionary pressure to develop interesting techniques for obtaining food. That, and I think Oviraptorosaurs look really cool.
This is a work of fiction; I was thinking of potentially writing and illustrating a book on the subject. If you’d like to see more, leave a comment!

Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

The Ovi: An exercise in speculative evolution…

I’ve been thinking for a while about what might have arisen if the dinosaurs hadn’t gone extinct, and if selective pressures were such that higher intelligence evolved. There have been some popular works on the subject over the years (the classic and extremely human-like “dinosauroids” of Dale Russell, Robert J. Sawyer’s “Quintaglio Ascension” trilogy of sci-fi books, and many other artists working on similar projects); this one is my take on the idea - sentient Oviraptorosaurs.

It seems most other similar projects tend to speculate on elevated cleverness evolving in the Paraves clade, and this makes sense: We know some of the most intelligent extant organisms on Earth (outside of the primates) are birds, especially the crows and ravens, and certain parrots. Some of their closest extinct non-avian dinosaur relatives are the Dromaeosaurids and Troodontids, and these fine animals are popular points of departure for speculative evolutionists. The Maniraptoran clade (of which Dromaeosaurids, Troodontids, modern birds, and Oviraptorosaurs are all a part) has some key attributes that we share: On Earth we have only one data point for human-level intelligence so far, so it seems logical to me to look for other organisms with similar traits when speculating on potential evolution of advanced tool-using intelligence – traits like large brains, high brain to body size ratios, grasping appendages (useful for manipulating the environment), bipedal motion (to keep those grasping appendages unoccupied), living on land (as smart as dolphins are, it would be hard to use fire, smelt metals etc. underwater), and a social structure that puts selective pressure on the ability to out-think and/or cooperate with others of your species.

Personally, I favored the Oviraptorosaurs in part to differentiate my own fiction from the rest. Oviraptorosaurian brain/body ratio may not have been quite as high as that found in the Troodontids, for example, but they do have one additional interesting trait that is similar to our own hominid forebears: probable omnivory. It seems to me that hominid and corvid intelligence may be at least partly linked to social interaction with conspecifics, but also with problem-solving to exploit different food resources. The Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids, it seems, were more likely obligate carnivores and thus would have less evolutionary pressure to develop interesting techniques for obtaining food. That, and I think Oviraptorosaurs look really cool.

This is a work of fiction; I was thinking of potentially writing and illustrating a book on the subject. If you’d like to see more, leave a comment!

Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

Dromaeosaurus albertensis
A highlight of my younger years were the occasional pilgrimages to the hallowed halls of our local science museum; the specimens within always fueled my imagination, and one of my favorites was the articulated skeleton of Dromaeosaurus mounted as if perched on a Centrosaurus skull.
Dromaeosaurus was a relative of the more famous Velociraptor, though with a more robust skull. It lived in what is now Canada (including DinosaurProvincialPark in Alberta), and its fossils are found in rocks dating to the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago. So far the recovered remains have been incomplete, so this rendition is somewhat more speculative than usual, and based on other related species. The dinosaur probably massed comparably to a modern day coyote, though with its large claws and robust jaws it may have been considerably more formidable.
After reading the excellent recent book All Yesterdays (by Conway, Kosemen, Naish and Hartman), I thought it might be good to step away from the typical paleo-art of charging, thrashing, monstrous theropods with mouths agape and roaring, and depict a quieter scene of dromaeosaur daily life.
Some relevant links (speaking of All Yesterdays):
http://johnconway.co/
http://nemo-ramjet.deviantart.com/
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/
http://scotthartman.deviantart.com/
If you like Dromaeosaurids, you should definitely also check out Emily Willoughby’s art:
http://ewilloughby.deviantart.com/


Getting better, but I know I have a lot of learning to do, so constructive critiques welcome and appreciated. I may never draw dromaeosaurs again, though – those feathers were a headache. 
I made this using Photoshop CS3 and a Wacom Intuos tablet.
Please do not reproduce without permission.

Dromaeosaurus albertensis

A highlight of my younger years were the occasional pilgrimages to the hallowed halls of our local science museum; the specimens within always fueled my imagination, and one of my favorites was the articulated skeleton of Dromaeosaurus mounted as if perched on a Centrosaurus skull.

Dromaeosaurus was a relative of the more famous Velociraptor, though with a more robust skull. It lived in what is now Canada (including DinosaurProvincialPark in Alberta), and its fossils are found in rocks dating to the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago. So far the recovered remains have been incomplete, so this rendition is somewhat more speculative than usual, and based on other related species. The dinosaur probably massed comparably to a modern day coyote, though with its large claws and robust jaws it may have been considerably more formidable.

After reading the excellent recent book All Yesterdays (by Conway, Kosemen, Naish and Hartman), I thought it might be good to step away from the typical paleo-art of charging, thrashing, monstrous theropods with mouths agape and roaring, and depict a quieter scene of dromaeosaur daily life.

Some relevant links (speaking of All Yesterdays):

http://johnconway.co/

http://nemo-ramjet.deviantart.com/

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/

http://scotthartman.deviantart.com/

If you like Dromaeosaurids, you should definitely also check out Emily Willoughby’s art:

http://ewilloughby.deviantart.com/

Getting better, but I know I have a lot of learning to do, so constructive critiques welcome and appreciated. I may never draw dromaeosaurs again, though – those feathers were a headache. 

I made this using Photoshop CS3 and a Wacom Intuos tablet.

Please do not reproduce without permission.

Diamantinasaurus and Australovenator
Winton Formation megafauna, from the Early Cretaceous of Australia: The titanosaur Diamantinasaurus matildae and allosauroid Australovenator wintonensis.
You can read more about these animals at:www.plosone.org/article/info%3…Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.

Diamantinasaurus and Australovenator

Winton Formation megafauna, from the Early Cretaceous of Australia: The titanosaur Diamantinasaurus matildae and allosauroid Australovenator wintonensis.

You can read more about these animals at:
www.plosone.org/article/info%3…


Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.