Spearhorn Nesting Grounds

Spearhorn Nesting Grounds

The stony faces of ancient gods watch over these mother Triceratops in their traditional nesting grounds. One of them, who bears the scars of a T. Rex attack on her frill, is driving off a snooping Albertonykus (one of the alvarezsaurids, or feathered dinosaurs with tiny clawed wings).

Some paleontologists theorize that ceratopsians in Cretaceous North America would migrate between coastal and inland regions over the year, with the inland movements headed for seasonal nesting grounds. This gave me the image of Triceratops congregating in some hallowed valley for their annual nesting. In this picture, the nests themselves have mud, leaves, and other debris spread overhead to incubate the eggs (and hide them from prowling alvarezsaurids, of course).

As for the ruined sculptures rising from the jungle canopy in the background, their design is inspired by bronze and terra cotta busts from the Yoruba kingdom of Ife, which thrived in what is now Nigeria from the 12th to 15th centuries AD. These statues are characterized by a level of realism in rendering the facial features that would put most ancient Egyptian sculptors (and maybe even some classical Greek ones) to shame.


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