This is an 11-foot (lifesize) model of the Permian predator Dimetrodon I am building to start a business building museum displays. I need funding to complete the model which is partially molded and will be finished in fiberglass when complete. Thank you for your consideration!
Once again, thank you to all my amazing friends. And to wrap things up, here are some final thoughts on our friend Dimetrodon: Dimetron was big, mean, probably didn't smell particularly good, and likely spent the majority of his time just laying around. Kind of like me ;-)
We are $135.00 away from our goal! I want to thank everyone who contributed and give you a little more info on the background of this project. I was a model maker at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and this is not my first lifesize sculpture. That would be the mounted head of an 18-foot Great White shark (photo attached). The Dimetrodon will be offered not only to museums and other interested institutions, but any collectors who may be interested as well. For a full album of the Dimetrodon project from start to where it is now, please go to https://m.facebook.com/lee.murphy.75?v=photos&cps&album=a.2159198260878.132633.1274160021&refid=17.
I've been a fan of Dimetrodon since I was a little kid and had the plastic toy mixed in that bag full of other prehistoric animals that never co-existed. But it was still fun. I was always fascinated by artists reproductions showing what Dimetrodon looked liked in life from Charles R. Knight, to Rudolph Zallinger and Zedenek Burian. It wasn't until 1990, when I was working at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History where I discovered one of the coolest things about Dimetrodon that I had never seen in any artistic recreations, or any of the scant literature on it. We had a fully articulated skeleton mounted in a wall case at the base of the big staircase going up from the first floor. One day I was looking it over and when I looked into the mouth I saw something that blew me away: Dimetrodon had THROAT TEETH! That's right. At the base of its throat it had an arch of bone studded with a row of sharp teeth which would allow it to snag and secure slippery prey such as fish and the amphibeans upon which it feasted regularly. When I finish my model the mouth will be opened wide and pointed upward at the viewer so everyone will be able to see this unique adaptation. Even T.rex couldn't boast about having throat teeth.
That pesky sail. Dimetrodon is known most notably for the large sail that adornes its back. But what purpose did it serve? No other (known) land animal-- living or extinct-- has had a sail similar to it. The sail was formed from long extensions of the spinal column no more than half an inch in diameter and covered (presumably) with what was likely a tough, fibrous skin. From an artistic view the sail is part of the creature's attraction, but in reality, it would seem the sail would have been a major hinderance. Some have speculated the sail was primarily for heat transferance which allowed Dimetrodon to heat up from the sun's rays earlier than other reptiles, thus giving it an advantage over its prey, or other competitors. The problem with that is blood vessels running through the sail would be highly vulnerable to damage, not to mention the spines themselves were probably regularly broken either in combat (attacking prey or battles against other males), or during copulation with a female similarly adorned. Others speculate the sail was merely for attraction, which seems to make the most sense since its counterpart Sphenacodon was basically a Dimetrodon without the sail. The only other animal with a similar sail on its back was Edaphosaurus, an herbivorous contemporary which often ended up on Dimetrodon's menu. Edaphosaurus' sail was far less fragile than Dimetrodon's, being formed of robust spinal extensions with smaller barbs growing from the sides.