Genyodectes, the smiling dinosaur.

Genyodectes serus (Woodward 1901) is a poorly understood dinosaur.

Original plate taken from

Woodward 1901 original plate taken from Wikipedia

I met him while I was working at the Collection of Vertebrate Paleontology in the La Plata Museum.

Luckily, the fossil had been prepared for the study conducted and published by Rauhut (2004) so when I did my duties in the collection (2011-2012), the holotype (and only assigned material) was in excellent condition. A marvelous smile shining on the shelves!

Since then, I wanted to do a portrait of him as those things that are put on the long list “to do”.

Finally this year the inspiration came and a few weeks ago I started the research background and the sketching, to constrain a bit the rush of the creative speculation…

genyodectes2 web

A heavily modified drawing of the skull of Ceratosaurus (Dark area corresponds with Genyodectes remains) Source: Flickr

As you can see … there are not too many barriers to the imagination in this case.. but Genyodectes is very close to Ceratosaurus in dental morphology and some other small details, and both were medium sized theropods.. so cut something here… stretch other there and done: a very conservative skull but not to the boring limit!

genyodectes wip

Intermediate stage in the drawing…

If you are wondering where I got the pattern for the skin … well is based on the skin of my dear “overos” (Tupinambis merianae) which fortunately still can be seen in the countryside or in the mountains near my house.


Picture of one that came as guest to our BBQ last summer.. (a better picture which I used as a reference here)

To end the suspense (and after several hours of drawing and computer) here is my portrait of the mysterious smile that captivated me years ago:

Genyodectes limpio web

Genyodectes serus, the “biter jaw” from patagonia

Categories: Paleoart | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: