30" long, 11" tall
|Please allow 3 to 5 weeks for
In November of 2005, the Paleon
Museum in Glenrock, Wyoming
celebrated its 10th birthday. The
museum was founded when "Stephanie"
the Triceratops was discovered outside
of town. For the tenth birthday party, I
produced this 1/10th scale model of this
specimen. The "Stephanie" model is
scaled specifically to the specimen that
she is named for, so this is not just
another generic Triceratops.
Given the importance of the "Stephanie" specimen to the Paleon and its
staff, a dynamic and powerful pose was needed. Observations of
galloping rhinoceros were used to identify the most dynamic elements
of the Triceratops gait. The startling discovery it that though rhinos are
such massive animals, when at a full 30 mile per hour gallop, there is a
phase during which all four of their limbs are off the ground; the entire
animal is airborne. I determined that this would make the most dynamic
There is, however, one problem with this pose. It's not possible. One of
my promises to myself when I began in this business was to make my
work appear as natural as possible. Metal armatures or supports
holding the piece in place don't lend themselves well to the natural feel.
So, I sat back and thought about it. Why is she running? What could
possibly make a six tonne animal want to run? The answer is simple, a
six tonne predator: T. rex. If she's afraid and running away, the
sculpture loses its power, so I decided that she had to be taking the
upper hand in the confrontation. Thus the high speed turn is derived,
which allows me to place one support arm on the ground. No visible
metal. The idea is that Stephanie is being chased by a Tyrannosaurus,
the only dinosaur that could have made an adult Triceratops nervous.
As the predator approaches her flank, Stephanie pivots suddenly, just
like a modern rhino, putting her massive horns between her and her
adversary. Once she has positioned herself this way, she has control of
the situation. She's in charge, and the hungry rex learns that Triceratops
is not such an easy meal.
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