Abel’s Tyrannosaurus | Science | Smithsonian
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Abel’s Tyrannosaurus

Perhaps no illustrations of Tyrannosaurus rex are as famous as the paintings of it made by Charles R. Knight at the beginning of the 20th century. Even though they are outdated, Knight’s paintings are still widely reprinted and cherished for their artistic detail. There are plenty of other illustra...

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Abel's Tyrannosaurus


Perhaps no illustrations of Tyrannosaurus rex are as famous as the paintings of it made by Charles R. Knight at the beginning of the 20th century. Even though they are outdated, Knight’s paintings are still widely reprinted and cherished for their artistic detail. There are plenty of other illustrations from when Tyrannosaurus was still new to science, though, and the other day I stumbled across one I had never seen before.

In 1930, the Austrian paleontologist Othenio Abel published a paper on Tyrannosaurus in which he included a photograph and drawing of a model of the famous predator. Many dinosaur sculptures have featured the dinosaurs striking a pose by themselves, but Abel’s Tyrannosaurus is seen tearing the flesh from an Edmontosaurus skeleton (modeled after the famous “Trachodon” mummy). I wonder where it is now.
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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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