Romancing the Tyrant: A review of "My Girlfriend is a T-Rex" Volume 1

I'm happy to bring Tommy Leung aboard today for this guest post! He'll be reviewing the comic My Girlfriend is a T-Rex. A bit about today's guest contributor:

Tommy Leung is a parasitologist / zoologist who writes a blog called Parasite of the Day where he writes about newly published research from the field of parasitology. He has also written about dinosaur parasites and parasites in the fossil record. Additionally he is an illustrator and you can see some of his work here. You can find him on Twitter @The_Episiarch.

Take it away, Tommy!


My Girlfriend is a T-Rex* is a comic / graphic novel series by artist Sanzo (さんぞう). It was originally published as an online webcomic under the title "T-REXな彼女 / T-Rex na Kanojo" and was later licensed for an English release by Seven Seas Entertainment. At its core, it is a tale of boy meets girl, but girl is a large carnivorous theropod dinosaur (sort of). While such a story would usually end rather quickly (and bloodily), in the case of My Girlfriend is a T-Rex, it turns into a tale of blossoming interspecific romance and funny dinosaurian hijinks.

The cover of Sanzo's "My Girlfriend is a T-rex."

In the world of My Girlfriend is a T-Rex, half-human-looking dinosaurs (imagine Centaurs or Mermaids, but with dinosaur bits in place of the horse or fish parts) live in our society, kind of like an urbanite monster girls / boys version of Dinotopia. The explanation for why the dinosaurs look the way that they do was that they had evolved to look more attractive to humans in order to survive in the modern world (a case of evolutionary mimicry?). It is an extremely silly premise, but this series makes no pretence at being anything more than a (largely) slapstick comedy featuring dinosaur monster girls / boys, and it often pokes fun at its own absurdity.

The two main characters of this series are (seemingly) ordinary college student Yuuma Asahikawa who, while taking out the trash late one night, encountered Churio, a female Tyrannosaurus rex who was riffling through the garbage. Despite the best effort of Churio to try and convince him that she is a big scary dinosaur, Yuuma looked past her sharp claws and scaly skin, and fell for her tyrannosaurian charm. Since this fateful encounter, Churio gradually made a switch from scavenging on the streets and sleeping in an abandoned factory, to becoming a somewhat more functional member of society.

The design of the dinosaurian characters in this series places it firmly within the “monster girl / people” subgenre along the likes of A Centaur’s Life, Merman in my Tub, and the very popular Everyday Life With Monster Girls / Monster Musume in featuring half-monster half-human characters in the main cast. Given My Girlfriend is a T-Rex seems like just another comic amidst many released in recent years that features the monster people gimmick, does it have what it takes to distinguish itself from the rest of the monster mash?

There are two main reasons that My Girlfriend is a T-Rex may appeal to a slightly different audience than the usual crowd who would be interested in such monster girl titles. First of all, whereas most other monster girl / people series have mainly featured mythological beings such as centaurs, merfolks, and lamia, My Girlfriend is a T-Rex is unique (as far as I am aware) in having dinosaur-based monster girls in such a slice-of-life setting (if you don’t count Bird Cafe! I guess…) - this alone may pique the interest of Palaeontology / Dinosaur Fans, which I’m guessing includes many readers of this blog. Secondly, it seems largely free of the kind of sexually suggestive (“ecchi”) content found throughout some monster girl titles such as Monster Musume, so My Girlfriend is a T-Rex may be more accessible to readers who find the more risqué aspects of Monster Musume to be off-putting.

Being the titular dinosaur of the series, most of the humour in this comic derives from Churio's antics as she attempts to adapt to modern society and all its trappings. A fair share of the jokes revolve around Churio not fully understanding her own strength as a tyrannosaur, or her instinctive responses to the situations that she finds herself in - which often comes across as being like a mix between a stray puppy and Godzilla. It is worth pointing out that unlike Churio, most of the other dinosaur / pterosaur characters in My Girlfriend is a T-Rex seem to have fully integrated with human society; they have jobs, pay bills, and live generally normal lives, and the human characters in this world seem to take that as a given. So Churio seems to be just a feral outlier.

Aside from Churio’s shenanigans, some of jokes in this series are references or parodies of dinosaurs (at least as they are perceived by the general public) and various dinosaur-based media. For example, those with a keen eye will spot a very obvious reference to Jurassic Park during a conversation between Churio and her friend, Torika, who is some sort of Velociraptor. Also the personalities of the dinosaur characters usually reflect the common popular perception of the dinosaur species that they are based upon. With that said, there are some moments where the character interactions move beyond “Archetype X based upon dinosaur species X” which give those characters a bit more depth.

While the main focus is on Churio and her interactions with Yuuma, there is also a cast of both human and dinosaur / pterosaur supporting characters who get their share of story. One noteworthy side character is Kram - a socially awkward ankylosaur who has difficulty communicating with people and conveying her emotions. Also, her best intentions are often thwarted by her own heavily armoured body. Kram’s more introverted and introspective personality acts a nice contrast to Churio’s blunt and impulsive temperament, and I hope we will see more of her in the next volume since she has appeared only in one chapter so far.

On a side note, the translation assumes that the reader has some familiarity with Japanese honorifics such as kōhai (underclassman / junior) and oniichan (“big / older brother”). While such words are familiar enough to regular manga readers or anime viewers, it might take a bit of getting used to for those who have not been exposed to such material. But, it should not be too difficult to work out what their English equivalents might be given their context.

My final verdict? My Girlfriend is a T-Rex might be one of the more accessible monster girl titles available as it avoids some of the tropes of that subgenre which people may find off-putting. While the humour in this series isn’t all that sophisticated, it works and I found it to be a really fun read. You should definitely check it out if you like the idea of a light-hearted, fish-out-of-water (or tyrannosaur out of Cretaceous?) slice-of-life comedy with a dinosaurian twist. Or if you are curious about the monster girl subgenre, but find Monster Musume too lewd or A Centaur’s Life a bit too weird, you might want to give this one a go instead, and spend an afternoon with some cute dinosaurian monster girls.

Overall score: 75/100

*Yes, I know the proper way to abbreviate Tyrannosaurus rex is T. rex - but that is the series’ official title.

Beauty Blogging: Fun, Profit, Love, and Happiness

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog.*


The title is just to get your attention.  Actually, I was to title it "Stupid, Ignorant, and Just Plain Idiotic: The Unknown Beauty Blog".  For my regular readers you may have been wondering the silence of this blog and my silence around social media.  Well, let's say my brain became TIRED!!!
I beg you, click to read more »

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaurs of the Southwest - Part 2

Following my previous post on the dinosaurs featured in the McLoughlin-illustrated 1970s quirk-fest Dinosaurs of the Southwest, I received, oh, at good handful of requests to follow up with a post on the book's otherprehistoricanimals. So here they are, starting with the only pterosaur that ever seems to matter, Pteranodon! But what's going on with that neck?



While otherwise a fairly average reconstruction for the time (although the pterofuzz is a nice bonus), this Pteranodon is unusual in having a very obvious 'strong tendon' joining the back of the head to the base of the neck, with what appears to be a flap of skin in between. This is only really made possible by the neck being both considerably shorter and noodlier than it was in reality, but it's an intriguingly different take nevertheless. Over on the right, McLoughlin has illustrated both a Fantasia-esque cliff-clinging colony of Pteranodon and an individual skimming for fish. This was long presumed a viable lifestyle for ocean-going pterosaurs, until the actual biomechanics of such a feeding technique were examined. Apparently, pretty much all known pterosaurs' skulls wouldn't fare too well in such a scenario. Rather than catch a fish, they'd probably lose a jaw.


From around the same time as Pteranodon, it's Hesperornis! Which, yes, is a dinosaur, but is naturally grouped apart in a 1970s book, so...that's my excuse. Hesperonitheans are especially fascinating because they're a clade of birds, secondarily flightless and adapted for an aquatic lifestyle, that existed well before the end of the Cretaceous period. It raises all sorts of interesting points about evolutionary ecology. But I digress. This illustration is...pretty average really, especially when compared with that Pteranodon. Obvious modern analogues help. Quick, onto something more unusual!


Ratkevich's text is littered with oddities (limb-regenerating dinosaurs, anyone?), so it probably shouldn't be too surprising to see the mosasaur Tylosaurus described as "an archosaurian reptile". I can't say I've done my homework on this, so I'm going to have to ask - is this an idea that people have ever seriously entertained? Regardless, McLoughlin's Tylosaurus is...unusual. While a low, spiky crest along the back was just considered good ol' artistic tradition for decades following Charles Knight's early restorations, this might be the only mosasaur I've seen with a sail supported by spines starting halfway down the back, akin to modern basilisk lizards. The jet black eyes are terrifying. I'm starting to wish I hadn't quoted that line from Jaws so many times before.


Back to the Devonian now (why not?), and an illustration depicting Eusthenopteron, which desperately wishes it was as cool as Tiktaalik, but just isn't. Sorry, Eusthenopteron. In any case, I love the use of an overhead perspective in this picture; it almost places the viewer directly at the water's edge, observing the early stages of tetrapod evolution firsthand. While it's scientifically dated in some respects, it's also evocative and throught-provoking; the inclusion of an apparently dead individual especially so. Perhaps the idea is that this is an environment in which these animals are on the brink, and only evolving into tetrapods could possibly save them now. Don't do it, guys! We'll only end up with Donald Trump after a few hundred million years.


Skipping the Permian (because what interest has there been in Dimetrodon lately?), and a herd of the dicynodont Placerias emerges from a lake to nibble on some sparse vegetation. While they are suitably squat and dumpy, McLoughlin appears to under-emphasise the famous tusks, which barely protrude here. I am rather fond of the impressionistic skyscape and horizon, mind you.


Also quite fantastically Triassical was Ornithosuchus, a croc-line archosaur that was commonly held to be a basal dinosauromorph for decades although not, funnily enough, by Ratkevich. While including the armour plates (you might have to squint a bit), McLoughlin may have restored the animal as a little too leggy and theropod-like here, albeit with very short, five-toed feet. Of course, it's still got nothing on the Bernard Robinson version. The abrupt transition from the cracked ground to the rather flat-looking forest makes it resemble a theatre backdrop, an effect that's surprisingly pleasing. As with the Placerias, the combination of quasi-realistic animals with more impressionist backdrops is quite intriguing, and it's something I wouldn't mind more palaeoartists having a crack at. It would be a good way of livening up a 'spotter's guide' type illustration.


So here's a Rutiodon. It's the animal that so wanted to be a crocodile, only it wasn't, of course. This is a decent effort as they go - the jaws should perhaps be a little longer and more gharial-like, but it's a difficult animal to get wrong. As an aside, I always find the nostril-craters on phytosaurs rather amusing. At least they had a way of wearing glasses.


Skipping right the way back to the Late Cretaceous future, and here's a dinosaur-murdering squirrelbeast looking suitably nefarious as it prepares to feast on gooey goodness of a partially-developed reptile embryo. While the caption suggests that Ratkevich might seriously have considered these smelly pipsqueaks to have played their part in the downfall of the nonavian dinosaurs, the text suggests otherwise; rather, he seems to believe that rapid climactic change snuffed them out. They couldn't live without their precious swamps, you see. To be fair, climate change is essentially what did for them, although nowadays, of course, we're also aware of the involvement of a big lump of rock from outer space. At least they were spared an Aerosmith soundtrack.


And finally...bonus-o-mimus! No excuse this time. McLoughlin's slight tendency to distort the proportions of his theropods is evident again here - there's simply no getting away from the fact that that neck is too short, foreshortening or no. To his credit, though, this restoration is a notable improvement on the frequently terrifying, toothpick-limbed, tiny-handed, Slenderman versions that appeared in books in the decades prior. It looks more like a theropod, less like something that should be wielding twin rocket launchers and advancing on you menacingly in Doom. Nice one, McLoughlin.

Hobbies and the “Collecting Gene”©

Let’s explore briefly the idea of hobbies. Since I was a young boy I have had hobbies. When I was real young we lived across the street from the old high school in Twin Falls, Idaho.  It was practically in the middle of town. They were building a new one and began tearing down the old one. My brother who is seven years older than me used to take me with some of his friends and sneak inside when work was not going on. I still remember picking up some hexagonal black and white tiles on the floor of one of the bathrooms. I have been a collector all my life. Elder Sterling W. Sill says all men have the “collecting gene.” I do, but I’ve never been wealthy enough to collect anything very valuable.  I have settled for things of value, but not expensive to obtain. More on that below.
My first real hobby at that time was collecting old Popsicle sticks I found laying around the school grounds. I didn’t do anything with them, just picked them up. That led to my first brush with death. There was a vacant lot next to the old high school which had a backstop for a small baseball field. One cold fall day some boys were playing ball and I was over there watching and picking up Popsicle sticks.  Your imagination is ahead of me, but you are right. I wandered into the inside of the backstop and somehow got close to the batter. I got hit in the head with the full force of a swinging bat. It knocked me out. Probably the only thing which saved me from a cracked skull was that I was wearing one of those old World War II leather fleece lined helmets pilots wore. That cushioned the blow somewhat. I was probably not six years old yet, it would have been in 1948 or 49. I could easily have been killed. I was hit on the right side of the head. Consequently my left side–eyes, muscles, everything on my left side has been weaker than my right side.
During my elementary and middle school years I began building model airplanes and cars. I wasn’t very good at it. Glue got everywhere and messed up the surfaces of the wings and the fuselage. I had the same problem with the paints. But I liked hanging the finished planes on the ceiling of my bedroom. I can’t even guess how many hours I spent building models, but I have fond memories of how much fun it was.
Interestingly, that led to a desire to have a model railroad. There was a man in Twin Falls who built a large layout in a room and he let us kids in to watch sometimes. I still vividly remember how neat I thought it was that one of the tracks went along the wall and over the door through which we entered the room. There was a switch yard, a town, and mountains. My imagination soared.  I loved it and have had a fascination with model railroads ever since. I tried to interest my oldest son in a project when he was little, but our house was small, our budget was smaller, and we mostly played with the toy Bachman train set at Christmas.  

Building a railroad layout  has been a life-long yearning. Once after I was released from serving in major callings in the Church I stopped in a hobby store in Salt Lake and purchased a couple of model railroading magazines, thinking maybe I would have time to start a little layout.  On the way back to Logan the Spirit spoke to me and said that I “wasted the money on the magazines because I was not going to have the time to build a model railroad.  I might as well throw them away.” When I walked in the back door I threw the two magazines in the wastebasket. My wife asked why and I told her what happened. That was the first of several promptings that something important was coming my way. Within two years I was called to serve as a Mission President in northern California, then after that as a worker in the Logan Temple, and after that as a counselor in the temple presidency, and after that as a sealer. I probably have time now to build a model railroad, but as age advances I feel a greater urgency to spend my time on other more productive things, including hobbies.
Another hobby of my youth was collecting stamps and coins. Coins was a popular hobby in Rupert, Idaho for a while. With friends I went to local banks and bought rolls pennies and nickels, sometimes dimes, but hardly ever quarters. We went through them looking to fill in gaps in our collections, and especially for a 1909vdb penny, one of the rarest and most valuable. I was never that lucky though I did have some 1909 pennies.  Interest in that somehow faded, but collecting stamps persisted and is still of interest to me. When the same boy who worked with me on the model railroad was a little older I took him and his sister to a stamp club in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I was teaching at the University of Illinois institute at the time. I tried to kindle an interest in them in stamp collecting. Members of the club gave them commemorative stamps and encouraged them, but it too faded. We did buy lots of commemorative stamps during 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial. I still have the collection and every now and then I pick up a new commemorative, a plate block, or a booklet of special stamps I like, but it is very infrequent.
In my late high school years I began a hobby that has lasted and grown.  I liked Reader’s Digest and the quotations that punctuated the pages and special sections. I began collecting quotations. I gathered up some inspiring ones to take with me on my mission and my girlfriend sent some to me while I was in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I copied the best ones into my “IP”–“instant preparation” notebook.  I didn’t use them much then, but I continued to collect and keep new ones I encountered in the mission field.  
When I became a seminary teacher I started a serious file system, but knew almost noting about how to build one. What's to know, right?  Finding guidance on building a personal file in the late 1960s without an internet was difficult, especially in the small community of Cardston, Alberta, Canada where I was teaching. I tried several systems like alphabetical, but where do you put stuff on Adam–under A, or under the book of Genesis, or Old Testament? Many quotations could be filed under more than one subject.  I needed some guidance.  

At a summer school that year I had a teaching methods and techniques class and we were required to begin a project which would help us in our teaching. One of the options was to create a file system. The department of seminaries and institutes published a little “seminary filing system” which I adopted and have used with modifications all my life. It consisted of twenty-six major categories–mostly related to Mormonism and religion–with hundreds of sub-topics under these main categories. I bought a small two-drawer filing cabinet for 4 x 6 file cards.  I bought some blank tab cards and a bunch of blank white cards. I created a tab for the twenty-six categories and went to work. 

I decided to train myself how to use this file system by purchasing ten years of Reader’s Digest  for a dime a copy at Deseret Industries. I went through each one, cut out the “quotable quotes” and  small anecdotes for which Readers Digest is famous. I put them in a large fish bowl. I pulled a saying out of the bowl and decided where it would go. I had to learn to think in categories and topics. When I decided where it should be filed, I taped it on to a card labeled with that topic and filed it behind the appropriate category. If I couldn’t readily decide where it went I set it aside and went on to the next one.  I did hundreds of these during the summer and on into the next school year. I was so pleased with the collection and what was happening to my mind as I began to organize my knowledge that I now have eight four-drawer letter-size file cabinets and one eight-drawer WW II 4 x 6 card cabinet in my basement study.
When I realized that computers could store this information more readily in less space and it was easily retrievable I began electronic files using the same file system of categories and sub-topics. During my career this file system was a necessity not a hobby. I transferred the information on many of my cards into the computer and now that I am retired I continued to do that and to add new information each day. Now it is a hobby again and I devote a little time to the project each day.
I hope this recital has not bored you too much. But sixty years of experience has taught me the value of having a hobby.This one satisfies my “collecting gene,” is inexpensive (except in the time involved, but all hobbies require that), and it has been valuable to me and to a few others. When I learned what a “commonplace book” is–a notebook students in the past used to write notes and quotations from their reading–I realized that my file system is my “commonplace book,” but unlike most students I determined to continue to collect throughout my life.  It is now one of my treasured possessions. Countless hours of pleasure, relaxation, enlightenment, edification, insight, motivation, pondering, and inspiration have come to me through this great hobby.
I have other hobbies–photography, book collecting, and reading, but they are for another day and another blog.

Let’s think together again, soon.

London Wetland Centre

I first visited the London Wetland Centre during TetZooCon, but I didn't have time then to explore the reserve as much as I'd have liked. I have since been able to revisit the Wetland Centre at length. As promised, here is a post about it.

The wetland centre is, in large part, intended to be a reserve for wildlife, and during the fall autumn there are waterbirds in abundance. Here is a great crested grebe.

A tufted duck photobombing.

The wetland centre's bat house.

There are a large number of non-native rose-ringed parakeets at the wetland centre (and reportedly elsewhere in London).

Though the place is teeming with wildlife, much of it can only be seen at great distances. This is the best picture I was able to get of a northern lapwing (with another photobombing tufted duck).

I had better luck photographing their captive waterfowl. The wetland centre almost certainly has more species of captive waterfowl than anywhere else I've been to, many of them rarely seen. Here are (from left to right) some emperor geese, red-breasted geese, barnacle geese, and brant.

More of the above (along with a wild Eurasian moorhen).

A goose nest from one of the above species out in the open. (I don't know which.) I am curious as to whether the captives here are ever threatened by local predators. Peregrine falcons have been sighted at the wetland centre; I wonder whether they're ever in the mood for something exotic. (The geese are likely relatively safe from falcons, but the smaller duck species would have at least the potential to be preyed upon.)

A couple of Bewick's swans (sometimes considered a subspecies of tundra swan).

The species kept here are arranged geographically. Here is a female common goldeneye.

Some of her pondmates, more goldeneyes and smews (and wild moorhens and mallards), representing a Eurasian setting.

The next pond over had canvasbacks, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and buffleheads, species I am familiar with as a North American birder. (There are also some freeloading black-headed gulls and mallards in this photo.) Many of these species nest in tree cavities; I wonder how that works (as I assume it does) here at the wetland centre considering the ducks presumably have their wings clipped.

A white-headed duck, known from the Middle East, central Asia, and northern Africa.

It repeatedly reared up vertically on the water surface. This looked like some form of display, but I am not familiar with this behavior. Anyone know better?

Next up were the South American marshes, featuring these crested screamers. Despite appearances, they are also waterfowl. They grow daggers on their wings.

Looking much more like a typical duck, a puna teal.

Puna teal again, with ringed teal in the background.

Jumping abruptly to the Arctic, common eiders, with greater scaup and northern pintails (mostly in the background).

Right across from them, we return to the Southern Hemisphere with this Australian magpie goose.

A pair of radjah shelducks.

The London Wetland Centre is involved in captive breeding and reintroduction efforts for endangered waterfowl, such as these Hawaiian Laysan ducks.

The state bird of Hawaii, the nene.

Endangered white-winged ducks from tropical Asia.

Among the few non-waterfowl species housed here are these white-naped cranes. This exhibit is meant to represent an Asian rice paddy.

A falcated duck and a spot-billed duck (foreground).

An unmistakable Baikal teal.

The various bird feeders at the wetland centre were well attended. Here a blue tit and a great tit pay a visit to one, as they frequently do.

A brown rat partaking in scraps from the feeder.

The two-storey observatory is set up to resemble an airport for birds, which is clever.

The Most Important Choices We Get To Make

Introduction:  I am reading an enjoyable and easy to read self-help book about Life's Greatest Lessons. Chapter four is about our God-given agency and the right to choose.  It concludes with the following list of the most important choices we get to make in life.  I thought you would enjoy this. I'm also interested in hearing what you think life's most important choices are.

***

"It wasn’t our choice to be born into the world.  And it’s not our choice that someday we’re going to die.  However, the period in between, the one we call life, presents us with countless choices. ...  We can choose our friends, careers, lifestyles, political affiliations, churches, where to live, what kind of car to drive and what kind of music to listen to. But there are some others choices which, while less obvious, are far more important.  We’re either unaware of them or just don’t give them much thought. Yet, they’re the choices that determine the quality of our lives. Based on what life has taught me, these are what I consider to be our most important choices:

We’re free to choose our character–the type of persons we become.  We can allow ourselves to be molded by others and our environment, or we can commit ourselves to self-development.  We can become less than we’re capable of, or we can become all that we’re capable of.

We’re free to choose our values.  We can let the media tell us what’s important, or we can decided for ourselves.  We can base our standards on what others are doing, or we can base them on what we know is right and good.

We’re free to choose how to treat other people.  We can put them down or we can lift them up.  We can be self-centered and inconsiderate, or we can be respectful, kind and helpful.

We’re free to choose how to handle adversity.  We can all ourselves to be crushed, to give up and to feel sorry for ourselves.  Or we can choose to look for a source of strength within us, to persevere and to make the most out of what life deals us.

We’re free to choose how much we’ll learn.  We can look upon learning as an unpleasant duty or as a great opportunity for bettering ourselves.  We can be close-minded or open-minded, we can be stagnant or we can grow.

We’re free to choose what we’ll accomplish in life.  We can allow our circumstances or other people to determine what we make of ourselves, or we can choose our own direction and goals.  We can be undisciplined and lazy, or we can be self-disciplined and hard-working.

We’re free to choose our own belief system.  We can ignore our spiritual nature, or we can accept it as an important dimension of life.  We can worship pleasure and the world’s material things, or we can look for something that’s ultimately more important.

We’re free to choose our own purpose.  We can wander aimlessly, or we can search for a meaning in life, and then live according to it.  We can live to please only ourselves, or we can find a cause that’s greater, one that helps us understand and appreciate life more fully.

We’re free to choose our attitude, regardless of circumstances.  This is the most important choice we’ll ever make because it affects everything we do in life."(1)

Let's think together again, soon.  (BTW, don't forget to share with me what you think life's greatest choices are.)

Notes:

1.  Hal Urban, Life’s Greatest Lessons: 20 Things I Want My Kids to Know, 3rd edition. (Redwood City, CA: Great Lessons Press, 2000), 35-36.

Bristol Museum

It would have been foolish of me to come study here without making a post on the Bristol Museum, considering it is next door to where most of my classes take place. It has a notable collection of Mesozoic marine reptiles. Here is a well-preserved specimen of Temnodontosaurus.

Excalibosaurus, an ichthyosaur with a very elongate rostrum.

A large specimen of Leptonectes.

An outdated presentation of plesiosaur biology.

There are also a few Mesozoic dinosaurs on display, including this Plateosaurus mounted in a rearing posture.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most highly-celebrated dinosaur here is the small sauropodomorph Thecodontosaurus, lauded due to it being a local and historically interesting fossil discovery. Here is a model of the beast by Bob Nicholls.

The reconstructed forelimbs of Thecodontosaurus.

A mostly complete specimen of Scelidosaurus.

A model of Scelidosaurus that has been quote-mined (see the words near its feet).

A more recently extinct dinosaur, an eastern moa.

I quite enjoy the taxidermy displays at this museum, as the specimens are mounted in evocatively lifelike poses. Here is an edible dormouse, as part of a gallery of British wildlife.

An impressively large monkfish, shown luring a small flatfish to its death.

They went to some lengths to get the correct eyes for these stuffed specimens, as is particularly noticeable with this great cormorant.

A hoopoe. I would love to add this species to my life list someday. Based on the blurb though, there's little chance of that happening here.

A diorama of nesting sand martins. (We Americans call them bank swallows.)

There are some more exotic species on display as well, such as this lesser Egyptian jerboa.

A long-tailed pangolin, one of the highly arboreal pangolin species.

I was excited to see this Potamogale, or giant otter shrew, a semi-aquatic tenrec.

An African brush-tailed porcupine.

An ivory-billed woodpecker, almost certainly extinct.

I wouldn't get my hopes up too much.

An eastern ground parrot.

A gray peacock pheasant. Galliforms are crazy.

Speaking of crazy extravagance, an entire display case of birds of paradise.

A regal-looking king vulture.

Tadpoles of the paradoxical frog, which become shorter as they age.

Various hummingbirds.

A resplendent quetzal, the most magnificent of trogons, and a plum-throated cotinga.

Some silky anteaters, the smallest and most adorable anteaters.

A thylacine!

A southern (or double-wattled) cassowary.

A platypus.

The skeleton of a potto, a strange nocturnal primate that uses the elongate neural spines on its neck as weapons.

A model of a dodo. (Not a taxidermied dodo; those, unfortunately, do not exist.)

A scaly-headed Archaeopteryx model. It... could be worse.

A cast of the London Archaeopteryx. I should visit the home institution of the original at some point.

Fragmentary Iguanodon (or more likely Mantellisaurus?) fossils.

Oh, it's that Oligokyphus model.

In addition to being a natural history museum, the Bristol Museum is also an art gallery. However, I will leave it up to the true art connoisseurs to tackle that side of things.