Thursday, May 19, 2011

Giants & Other Early Reptiles Online

When your average modern dino fan hears the name "David Peters", they probably think of lepidosaurian pterosaurs, archosaurian mammals, invisible babies and the most extreme examples of paleontological pareidolia since Chonosuke Okamura. But to the surprise of some commenters , Peters was, for a while, a somewhat prolific and outstanding paleoartist. I have long credited his two early 'gallery' style books with being one of my main early influences. These books more than anything except maybe Phil Tippet's Prehistoric Beast fostered my interest in paleontology as a kid and kept it going, giving me ample figures to copy... I mean... giving me plenty of references to use in my first attempts at palaeontography. Looking back through them I reckon those influences are still very much with me. Each page even functions as a scale chart, which must not have made too much of an impression on my developing mind.

For those also looking to be inspired by some 'old school' but still fairly accurate (especially in Gallery which features a Deinonychus so bird-like it blew my 12 year old mind) or at least interesting renditions of prehistoric animals, I recently discovered both of these gallery-style books are available as free PDFs from Peters' art site (often overlooked in favor of his more, um, eccentric science and phylogeny site). You can download both Giants of Land, Sea & Air Past & Present and A Gallery of Dinosaurs & Other Early Reptiles here.

And speaking of Prehistoric Beast... hell yeah.

5 comments:

  1. I remember hearing about Peters's outlandish pterosaur hypotheses many years back, and then being mildly surprised when I saw him being credited in multiple dinosaur books without any sense of irony whatsoever. Later on I found some of his older works, but I haven't seen these. Holy crap, feathered Deinonychus in 1989!

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  2. "Gallery" was one of my biggest influences as a kid, too.

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  3. Um, the link you provided for the books doesn't work...

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  4. Never mind, it works again. :)

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  5. Peters did have overly-overworked pterosaur hypotheses, that's true, but I suppsoe it was only because he's a really creative guy deep down....everyone's got ideas.

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