Reconstructing the Past

The first reconstructions of dinosaurs and their natural environs appeared in 1854, in London's Crystal Palace Park. Based on fossil records available at the time, these life-sized renderings were highly imaginative – but they did not always get things right. Predators were often depicted with their prey, for example, despite their natural aversion for each other. Illustrated popular works document the changes in how paleontologists and geologists have interpreted the past over time. Some are fanciful, such as Samivel's Samovar et Baculot dans Parade des Diplodocus (1933). Others are dramatic, such as Flammarion's Le Monde Avant la Création de L'homme (1886). All demonstrate through extraordinary illustrations the otherworldly nature of life on Earth millions of years ago.

Samovar et Baculot dans Parade des Diplodocus


Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1933

QE861.95.S25 1933 Rare

From the Edward Valauskas collection of Dinosauriana