Giants of Ancient South America

South American Themed Dinosaur Diorama

Dinosaur model enthusiast and collector Robert Townsend very kindly sent into Everything Dinosaur some further pictures of his prehistoric landscape.  This time he has focused on dinosaurs that roamed the southern hemisphere during the Mesozoic.  In his diorama entitled “South American Giants”, Robert highlights the diversity of Sauropods that once roamed the landmass of Gondwana, he has also added some large Theropod models to highlight the apex predators which once called South America home.

When the Sauropoda Dominated the Mega-fauna of Gondwana

South American giant dinosaurs.

An Amargasaurus (foreground), Saltasaurus (background).

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

The picture above shows a Safari Ltd (Wild Safari Dinos) Amargasaurus in the foreground, in the background, a pair of long-necked dinosaurs (Saltasaurus) walk by.  This is a well composed photograph.   The position of the models provides perspective and depth perception, the animals moving in opposite directions provides contrast and draws the eye into the photograph, allowing the clever and careful use of foliage to be appreciated.

A Close View of the CollectA Agustinia Dinosaur Model

Agustinia dinosaur model.

The CollectA Deluxe Agustinia dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

A number of Sauropods feature in Robert’s South American themed diorama.  The picture above shows a close up of an Agustinia (pronounced Ah-gus-tin-nee-ah), a bizarre, herbivorous dinosaur whose fossils were first discovered around twenty years ago.  From the limited number of fossils found, palaeontologists remain uncertain as to the phylogeny of this particular dinosaur.  It could be a member of the titanosaurids, or perhaps it was more closely related to Diplodocus (diplodocid dinosaurs).  Until more fossil material is found and studied, the family classification of this particular South American dinosaur remains uncertain.

Carnivorous Dinosaurs of South America

Giant meat-eating dinosaurs roamed South America.

Mapusaurus and Giganotosaurus feast on a long-necked dinosaur.

A number of super-sized Theropods are known from South America.  Robert depicts different types of meat-eating dinosaur in his diorama.  Amongst the abelisaurids, Robert has included a number of different types of predator, including Mapusaurus and Giganotosaurus which are greedily feeding on the remains of a Sauropod in the photograph above.

A Lifelong Dream.

When asked how he got interested in collecting dinosaur models and making dioramas, Robert explained:

“When I was about eleven or twelve years old I saw the film “Valley of The Gwangi” which was about some cowboys in the old wild west who discover a lost world of living dinosaurs inside a secret and hidden canyon.  I was so impressed with the realism of the animation of the creatures that I wanted to make my own lost world of dinosaur models in a prehistoric world.”

In his childhood, Robert constructed a number of dinosaur model kits and he started building landscapes from a young age, but not always with the results he desired.  When it came to creating prehistoric scenes, Robert admits his early efforts were a case of trial and error.

“What materials did one use?  I didn’t have a clue.  My dad suggested that I make the landscape out of a large piece of white card he obtained from somewhere.  It was rolled up, and when unrolled and flattened out it was about four feet square.  On the dining room table I used a felt tip pen to draw where the rocks and the rivers were meant to go.  To make prehistoric type plants I rolled up pieces of white paper, coloured them in with green and brown felt tip pens and then cut one end to spread out the fronds at the top.  They were stuck on the card with sellotape.  After an afternoon of trying this, the whole thing looked such a mess and so totally unconvincing that I was disappointed with my clumsy efforts.  I threw the whole lot away in the bin.  I thought it was best to wait until a time when I learnt what materials to use and how to build properly with them.  Well, now that time has come and you can see some of the results above.”

A Juvenile Argentinosaurus Roams Across the Diorama

The CollectA Argentinosaurus.

A juvenile Argentinosaurus.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Thank you Robert for sending your photographs to Everything Dinosaur, they are greatly appreciated.  The next project for Robert is to build “Jurassic Park III later in the summer.  His plans are well advanced, the landscape will have a water hole surrounded by prehistoric trees and plants, some plastic aquarium plants and rocks from a garden centre, even some model plants that Robert will have made himself.

The CollectA Williamsonia Helps to Bring Prehistoric Scenes to Life

The CollectA Williamsonia plant.

The CollectA Williamsonia prehistoric plant, a great addition to dinosaur dioramas.

For extra realism, Robert is keen to get hold of some of the prehistoric plants and other materials from Everything Dinosaur, sounds like a good plan.

The Williamsonia and other prehistoric trees and plants can be found here: CollectA Scale Models

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