Artist and writer Chris Rodley utilized a deep learning algorithm to create these really lovely illustrations of dinosaurs composed of plants. The images were generated with an online service called DeepArt that lets you upload a “target” image and then apply a visual style to it. For step one he fed the network images of common dinosaurs and then applied the styles of 19th-century fruit engravings and botanical illustrations. The results are a sort of 21st-century artificial intelligence channeling Giuseppe Arcimboldo. You can read a bunch more about all the technical mumbo jumbo over on Sploid. (via Kottke)
A micro-CT scan reveals the delicate feathers that cover the dinosaur tail. Photo by Lida Xing, courtesy National Geographic.
The first known dinosaur tail preserved in a piece of amber was recently discovered by paleontologist Lida Xing while collection samples in Myanmar last year. Dating back to the mid-Cretaceous Period some 99 million years ago, the roughly apricot-sized piece of amber contains a 1.4-inch appendage of 8 vertebrae unmistakably covered in primitive feathers. Scientists ruled out the possibility of the tail belonging to a bird, and based on its structure believe it came from a juvenile coelurosaur, a group of dinosaurs that includes tyrannosaurs. Via National Geographic:
While individual dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, and evidence for feathered dinosaurs is captured in fossil impressions, this is the first time that scientists are able to clearly associate well-preserved feathers with a dinosaur, and in turn gain a better understanding of the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers.
The findings were first published today in a report co-authored by Ryan McKellar in Current Biology and you can read more on National Geographic.
Since we last visited with artist Brett Kern (previously), the West Virginia-based ceramicist has continued to produce new models of his ingenious inflatable toy dinosaur sculptures. Kern has added “baby” versions of Plesiosaurus, Carnotaurus, and T-rex to his lineup, and earlier this year released a few pieces in gold glaze that were made available for auction. You can see more in his Etsy shop, and he shares tons of process videos and photos on Facebook.
All photographs courtesy Jorge Saenzs / Caters News
Over the last few years we’ve seen several series where people use toys, pets, and unwitting significant others as props to liven up their travel photos. Photographer Jorge Saenz decided to pounce on the idea with his “#dinodinaseries” that incorporates a small herd of plastic dinosaur toys turned tourists who join him on his adventures. It all began when Saenz purchased a green brachiosaurus toy at a flea market in La Paz, Bolivia and shared a few shots of it exploring the local surroundings. The miniature reptiles have since accompanied him to other South American countries like Paraguay and Peru where they’ve braved rapids, climbed mountains, and explored Incan ruins. You can see many more on Saenz’s Instagram. (via Lost at E Minor)
The folks over at Brooklyn-based Tinysaurs build DIY paper model kits of the world’s smallest dinosaurs and other skeletons, both real and fictional. Each tiny kit stands about 2 inches tall when finished and takes about 20-30 minutes to assemble with a pair of tweezers. Kits are available as a standalone paper model, or as a deluxe kit with included borosilicate glass display dome. See more in their Etsy shop. (via So Super Awesome)
I’m really enjoying this line of tissue holders from Sparkly Pony based out of Auburn, California. Dinosaur plates and whale spouts become dispensers for plumes of tissues. (via Quipsologies)