A Gallery of Dinosaurs & Other Early Reptiles
by David Peters, 1989
One of my favorite dinosaur books as a kid, David Peters’ illustrated Gallery of Dinosaurs is presented as a parade of prehistoric creatures, with modern humans observing and interacting for scale. Available as a free download on Peters’ website, the pages can easily be combined with Photoshop into large, continuous murals, as I have done here.
Peters has more recently been the recipient of much criticism from the scientific community for his controversial reconstructions of pterosaurs, but this book showcases his artistic talent and knowledge of dinosaurs, and remains a personal favorite. It was one of the earliest introductions to baryonyx and carnotaurus in the popular media, and who else was drawing fully feathered deinonychus all the way back in 1989? Some of the info is a bit dated, of course, but overall still holds up well and is definitely worth checking out.
Even the creators of the Jurassic Park action figures must have been fans; look at the dino figures in the Series II JP line: estemmenosuchus, scutosaurus, tanystropheus, ornithosuchus — it’s almost as if they just went right down the line for the first few pages of this book!
I really wish Peters wasn’t such a nutcase because his art is gorgeous and I want to see accurate, up-to-date art from him.