Dinosaur Pioneers: Hitchcock and Leidy

After a hiatus of sorts I’m continuing where I left off with my posts on the pioneers of Dinosaur science.

Edward Hitchcock and Joseph Leidy

In the early 19th century a geologist from the USA wrote about some three toed fossilised footprints that had been found in the red sandstone of New England in the Eastern United States. At the time he thought they were evidence of giant birds, but they were later found to be from dinosaurs such as Ammosaurus, Anchisaurus and Megalosaurus.

The 1850s were an exciting time because the first dinosaur skeletons from North America were described. Joseph LeidyJoseph Leidy who was a professor of anatomy, named Troodon in 1856 from fossil teeth found in Montana by Ferdinand Hayden. He also reconstructed and named a headless skeleton of a dinosaur found in New Jersey in 1858, calling it Hadrosaurus. Hadrosaurus was a duck billed dinosaur from the late cretaceous period (although they probably didn’t know that at the time because they hadn’t got it’s head).

His reconstruction was particularly important because the skeleton had shown him that this creature walked upright rather than on all fours as they had previously thought was the case in earlier reconstructions of dinosaurs. It was clear that the hind limbs were longer than the forelimbs.


The last several weeks or so I’ve been very busy experimenting and working on my skills and ideas for portfolio pieces. I’ve also started to learn vector drawing (at last…), and also tried my hand at 3D voxel art which is quite fun. I used an open source program called Magica Voxel. I was sort of thinking it would be useful for testing different lighting and shadows.

Author: Christine Garner

I'm an Illustrator from the UK working in digital and traditional mediums with a focus on character design.

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