Nov 14, 2009

Tail End

After some fusing and tinkering the Tylosaur has gone through various forms of its tail...

David pointed out my first version looked something like a Newt. Doing some quick research i can justify this look as many sea snakes have a fin setup quite simialr to a Newt's. Meaning despite being a little simplistic, it is still a very Varanoid trait, and as my piece is trying to be an ubber Varanoid Mosasaur that's cool.

Though I never did get around to posting a Mosasaur question on Ask a Biologist, I did have a conversation with my former roommate Will. The same Will who at moment is doing his Masters on fossil lizards (though not Varanoids mind you, but still he knows his stuff)!

He has informed me there is no definitive consensus about Mosasaur tail soft tissue construction. The two theories that are favoured/debated at moment are either roughly equal symmetrical fins running on the top and bottom OR that like most Ichthyosaurs the back end of the tail tapered downward and a large fleshy fin would be supported above it (not as extreme as an Ichthy though)... Meaning my then current Mosa, seen here is WRONG. As I only have a fleshy fin underneath...

Will personally likes the symmetrical theory, and at moment so do I. In my case it is purely aesthetically, and to me it looks more primitive to have fins on the top and bottom compared to a single upper fin. So here are some of the test versions I've cranked out.





D is the current version, but I can change it back to any of the earlier ones with ease. Which do people like or dislike.

I've finally come down with my first illness of the year (a record 9 months working with kids straight, and only finally now just catching something!) so am pretty slow today. I am trying to get myself to Vertex modelling, but have been finding myself easily distracted by everything and anything... Keep you posted once I get to Vertexing...

I'm also starting to think about shading and how to go about it. The tail potential presents me with some crazy challenges.

So onward and upward.


davidmaas said...

good stuff!
When I say "newt-like" I'm also referring to the general shape of the flanges, not just their dorsal/ventral symmetry... and all your versions have a flanging out away from the creatures body. ie. body - thin tail - thick tail. This is what I associate with as "newt-like" as it feels small-scaled. Newts use such tails to fan pheromones at a loved one. Snakes and water-loving lizards have more butt-tapered tails (how's that for a psuedo-scientific term) for propelling themselves through water with an undulating motion that originates in the body. Snakes often have a bit of a flange at the very tip... but only there.
Will try to squeeze in a paintover and mail you.

Love the details that you're getting into the head.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Sincerely I prefered C .. but I'm no "expert" so....