The raging dinosaurs above are featured on the back cover of 2003’s Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and on page 253. This gorgeous illustration by paleo artist Luis V. Rey shows two Giganotosauruses attacking an Amargasaurus, with a herd of Argentinosauruses in the background.
After sharing this image on Reddit in 2022, eleven years after first posting it on this blog, I learned that Rey updated the image due to what we now believe is a historical inaccuracy in portraying Amargasaurus living at the same time as Giganotosaurus. The revision portrays two Mapusauruses chasing a juvenile Argentinosaurus.
As I read through this encyclopedia again in January 2022, I noticed some other pieces of outdated information. The big one is basically the entire chapter dedicated to the mystery of how and when the dinos went extinct (except for birds). Since the book was published in 2003, we’ve gained a damn good concept of what really happened, and where, and why. I’ve read a ton of articles on it, since extinction is a pet topic of mine, but the good folks at Kurzgesagt have made an excellent, concise video on the topic
The second and more minor point that stood out to me was the discussion about how Coelophysis was believed to be cannibalistic because one of its skeletons was found with what appeared to be the skeletons of two baby Coelophysises in its stomach. This find has since been re-examined, and the “babies” were determined to be another, smaller species of dino. I only realized this recently while reading about the discoveries of paleontologist and author Dr. Edwin Colbert.
But it just goes to show that our exploration and understanding of the lives and times of dinosaurs continue to expand and improve. Who knows what we will discover next, or what we now believe to be likely will turn out to be a misunderstanding? The history of dinosaur discovery is one of constant growth and change, where we must always be open to questioning and refining old dogmas in the light of new facts and better understanding.
Collector’s Guide: Visit Luis V. Rey’s blog to explore more of his stunning artwork, and his books on Amazon. January 2022 saw the release of a new 64-page book with his illustrations: Dinosaurs of Africa, in paperback and Kindle. I got my used copy of Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs for $8 at a book store, but you can still find this glorious oversized hardcover on Amazon for $15 to $35.