In 1933 or ’34, Dr W. Franklin Dove took a day-old male Ayrshire calf, surgically removed his horn buds, trimmed them to fit together and replanted them in the centre of the calf’s forehead. As the young bull grew, the buds fused and produced a single foot long horn, straight as an arrow and highly useful in uprooting fences as well as confronting rival bulls.
The Unicorn Bull became the leader of his herd,rarely challenged by other males, not surprisingly. When bulls charge each other the main aim, as with most horned animals, is to bash skulls and push and shove until someone can take no more. Charging towards an enemy who has a spike aimed right between your eyes is not exactly a smart game to play.
Secure in his strength and position, the bull became unusually placid and mild-mannered, which are traits attributed to the Unicorn, oddly enough.
In an 1565 Italian play The Buggbear, the Bugbear was depicted as a monstrous bear that lurked in the woods to scare children.
This is the first entry in my European Dragons Sketchbook, which has some nice handmade paper I am getting used to. I also try to draw the dragons as close to the original artwork as I can, while inserting my own style at the same time.
Catalan dragons are serpent-like, and have two legs,rarely four. They sometimes have a pair of wings. Their faces can resemble those of other animals such as lions or cattle.Their breath is poisonous and capable of rotting and burning everything within reach.
Okay, I admit I got a little cartoony on this one, but it was hard to resist. 🙂
Ankylosaurus (meaning “Fused reptile”) was the last and largest of the armoured dinosaurs. Its body was protected with bony plates, with additional horn-like coverings. Low-slung and wider than they were tall, the various species of Ankylosaurs were like tanks.
An Ankylosaurus’ skull was thick with two pairs of sharp horns at the back of the head. Parts of the tail vertebrae were fused like the handle of a club, while the base of the tail remained flexible. At the end of the tail, a series of plates were fused together and held aloft by tail vertebra fused together, making a massive 50kg bony club which at full swing could smash the skulls of even the most ferocious carnivores. Other theories about the tail club suggest that it may have been used for combat between two Ankylosaurus, and display purposes for attracting mates.
Translated literally as “ghost whale”, the Bakekujira are animated whale skeletons.that swim near the ocean’s surface, rising as they did in life when they would have had to breathe. Often, a host of eerie birds and strange fish accompany them. Bakekujira appear on rainy nights near coastal whaling villages.
The Bakunawa is a dragon in Philippine mythology that is often represented as a gigantic sea serpent. It is believed to be the cause of eclipses because it is so enamored with the shininess of the moon and swallows it. One legend says that there were once seven moons, but the Bakunawa swallowed them. Ancient Filipinos would go out of their homes with pots and pans and crash them together, as well as sing,to make noise in order to scare the Bakunawa into spitting out the moon back into the sky.
Carnotaurus–my favorite dinosaur besides Styracosaurus, and the only known dino predator with substantial horns!
I will be writing about Carnotaurus (“meat-eating bull”) a lot in this blog. The first thing I will cover about this gorgeous beast is its skin. Why? Because specimens of Carnotaurus have given us detailed impressions of the skin, including the face.
These impressions of Carnotaurus show that its hide was made of many low,round scales with larger, semi-conical,bony scales, called osteoderms, in rows along its sides. The word osteoderm literally means “skin bone”. Like the skin of all known dinosaurs, these scales did not overlap like scales on some lizards and snakes.