Natural History commissions for Amherst College and Dinosaur State Park
A digital illustration of Dilophosaurus stepping out of the shallow lake water on to a muddy shore. We are on the upper reaches of an early Jurassic lake in the Deerfield Basin. I used the present day analogous landscape of the Saline Valley in eastern California (digital elevation model). Dilophosaurus is a Photoshop enhanced image of my 30 inch clay Dilophosaurs model, showing the revised thinking on the position of the hands. For this commission (Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association) we show the animal with feathered scales which might have appearred as elongated quill like scales as are seen on very young birds. 2017
A study of Coelophysis for the Dinosaur State Park Painting. Private collection, Tennessee.
The Connecticut Valley and The Oxbow. 48" x 156", Amherst College Museum of Natural History
The Connecticut Valley in the Early Jurassic. 48"x96", Amherst College Museum of Natural History
In The Late Triassic, the background painting for the Dinosaur State Park Triassic diorama, 1988/1991, 168" x 348" (click on the image for a higher resolution image & visit Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, Ct.

http://dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/dinosaur.htm

Jurassic Landscape in the Connecticut Valley, Amherst College Museum of Natural History. The painting is on a u-shaped curved alcove. Standing about 4 feet from the edge of the platform gives the viewer a distortion free wrap around environment. For more on the museum visit http://www.amherst.edu/~pratt/
Two Anchisaurs, adult (painted) and juvenile (Gary Staub's model), are driven from the lake side across a fern meadow and into a thicket of Otozamites by 2 Dilophosaurs cruising the lake margin. Clathropteris ferns are shown in the painting and in the foreground growing in patches mixed with Equisitites. The Anchisaurs are shown as bipeds based on the tracks, Otozoum, that best match their feet. Emma Rainforth, and Paul Olsen shared their expertise on Anchisaurus .

The foreground and painting show three vegetative zones. Closest to the lake are clusters of ferns (Clathropteris and Phlebopteris) and horsetails. On the lowest slopes of alluvium are thickets of Otozamites and more Phlebopteris. On the higher slopes and across the mountains are stands of conifers. The conifers are from a Mesozoic family, the Cheirolepidiacae, bearing the Pagiophyllum and Brachyphyllum foliage. Kirk Johnson provided guidance and information on the landscape, flora and paleoecology.

The Dilophosaurs left tracks in the mud named Eubrontes. I've suggested sexual dimorphism in their coloring and used the Tri-Colored Heron as an inspiration. I interpreted the Dilophosaurus as expert fishers, like stupendous wading birds. Fossil trackways in the Connecticut Valley were predominantly made by predators, What were all these predators eating? Each other? Probably not. How about fish! The Dilophosaurus skull is long and tapered like a croc's and its spike like teeth would have been great for snapping up and holding fish. My consulting paleontologists thought this was a plausible interpretation. Though the juvenile Anchisaur in the foreground looks doomed the Dilophosaurs may have preferred fish.
The left side of the Diorama shows the expanse of the lake and the Eastern Border Fault mountains stretching up valley for at least another 20 miles from what is now Amherst.
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