A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Winter 2013)

By | January 19th, 2013|Magazine Reviews, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Issue 104 Reviewed

The winter edition of Prehistoric Times is certainly a treat for prehistoric animal model collectors and general enthusiasts for all things prehistoric. On the front cover there is a fantastic illustration of Leviathan melvillei, a huge, prehistoric whale which was an apex predator of Miocene seas, preying on other smaller cetaceans.  This was the “whale that ate other whales”  and the artwork that adorns the front cover shows this sea monster attacking a baleen whale.  As the genus name Leviathan has already been assigned to another type of animal (Mastodon), the name Leviathan melvillei has been changed to Livyatan melvillei, the original hebrew spelling of the word.

Issue 104 of Prehistoric Times (Winter 2013)

Meet a “Leviathan”!

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Everything Dinosaur

Inside the magazine there is a very detailed article by Phil Hore on prehistoric whales, their evolution from land living mammals and their radiation into the many types of large, extant cetacean seen today.  The second prehistoric animal to be featured in this publication is Troodon, the Dromaeosaur dinosaur which is regarded by many palaeontologists as being one of the most intelligent of all the known members of the Dinosauria.  Readers are asked to send in their artwork and other illustrations of the prehistoric creatures featured in the magazine.  The editor remarks in his editorial column that much to his surprise a lot more artwork featuring prehistoric whales was sent in than for the Troodontids.  This might be because this is the first time in all one hundred plus editions of the magazine that prehistoric whales have been featured.  The pictures sent in, both of the Troodontids and the prehistoric whales are really good and some noteworthy illustrations include those by Simon Zoppe (Dorudon) and Wade Carmen (Janjucetus), plus a superb Troodon, full colour print by Raul Martin.

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Tracy Lee Ford contributes with the second part of his excellent piece on how to draw dinosaurs with a focus on pathology found in Ceratopsian dinosaurs.  In this article, the author discusses the work of Happ et al (published 2008) who describe a Triceratops skull that is  missing about thirty percent of its left brow horn.  There are deep gouges on the skull in the area surrounding the horn and on the remaining horn core material.  It has been suggested that the horn was bitten off by an attacking Tyrannosaurus rex.  To find out more about what such injuries can reveal about the behaviour of dinosaurs, the rest of Tracy’s excellent article is well worth reading.

Allen A. Debus provides a fascinating article on the early illustrations of Megalosaurus, the very first genus of dinosaur to be scientifically named and described.  This feature evidently took a lot of researching as some of the illustrations shown date from more than 120 years ago.  There is also a section on what new prehistoric animal models are due to be launched this  year plus a review of the big news stories in palaeontology over the last few months or so.

Model maker Steve DeMarco lets us into a few secrets about how to create paint effects like a professional when painting dinosaur models and there is a review of a European dinosaur theme park, plus book reviews and an in depth interview with the highly talented artist Terry McKee.

All in all a highly informative and educational publication which caters for the discerning prehistoric animal model collector.