If you follow me on Reddit or Twitter, you’ve probably seen some of these already, but I’ve been making some dinosaur face cards lately, inspired by a graffito of a two-headed duck I saw in a bathroom somewhere (not joking). The playing-card style is pretty cool to emulate. There are a few different ways to join the elements together, and usually you end up with a cool spiral or something in the middle just by accident. It also is kind of reminiscent of Aztec art. Here they are presented in the opposite order that I drew them in, since I think I got better the more I did. These are now available to buy as a physical deck of cards:
Buy Deck of Dinosaurs
Ambopteryx was a scansoriopterygian (bat-winged birdlike dinosaur) from Late Jurassic China. These were one of the many independently flight-capable birdlike dinosaur groups, and probably one of the worst fliers.
Anzu was a large oviraptorosaur from Latest Cretaceous North America. It lived alongside lots of famous dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Edmontosaurus.
Antarctopelta was a pig-sized ankylosaur from Late Cretaceous Antarctica. The recent discovery of the related dinosaur Stegouros, which possessed a never-before-seen cool tail weapon, makes us think that the closely related Antarctopelta, from which no tail material is known, had one too.
Amargasaurus was a dicraeosaurid sauropod from Early Cretaceous Argentina. Its double-row of elongated neck spines has in the past been thought to have supported a skin sail, or goat-like horns, but now is believed to have been the scaffolding for a bulky, fleshy sail.
Koreaceratops was a small ceratopsian (horn-faced dinosaur related to Protoceratops) from Early Cretaceous Korea. Its skull is not known, which meant I was free to give it whatever spikes and patterns I felt like.
Qiupanykus was an alvarezsaur (small birdlike dinosaur with one big clawed finger on each hand) from Late Cretaceous China. It was found in association with some oviraptorid eggs, leading some to speculate that it was an egg specialist. Is this the sexiest alvarezsaur you've ever seen or what.
Jeholosaurus was a small ornithopod (bipedal, herbivorous relative of duck-billed dinosaurs) from Early Cretaceous China. Here it's giving off some strong White Rabbit vibes. I chose all the smallest animals to be my clubs, since that's the smallest suit.
Kryptops was a primitive abelisaurid (short-faced, tiny-armed meat-eating dinosaur from the Southern Hemisphere) from Early Cretaceous Niger. Its name means 'hidden face', referring to the texture of its premaxilla which indicates some keratin or toughened skin was firmly attached in life.
Quetecsaurus (meaning 'fire lizard') was a titanosaur from Late Cretaceous Argentina. It was a member of the clade Lognkosauria, which contains some of the largest land animals ever, such as Puertasaurus, Argentinosaurus, and Patagotitan. However, Quetecsaurus was only a third to half the length, and therefore a ninth to a quarter of the mass, of these giants.
Jinfengopteryx (meaning 'golden phoenix feather') was a tiny, flight-capable troodontid ('raptor' dinosaur) from Early Cretaceous China. Its fossil preserves long, fancy tail feathers and birdlike body and wing feathers. Here, it's doing its best rubber-duck impression.
Kentrosaurus (meaning 'prickle reptile') was a very spiky, cow-sized stegosaur from Late Jurassic Tanzania. Not to be confused with Centrosaurus, a ceratopsian. The King of Hearts is nicknamed 'Suicide Sam' because he appears to be stabbing himself in the head with his sword, so I tried to replicate that here.
Qiupalong was an ornithomimosaur (ostrich-like dinosaur) from Late Cretaceous China and Canada. I know I already did Qiupanykus, but there just aren't that many dinosaurs that start with Q, ok?
Jaklapallisaurus was a horse-sized sauropodomorph from Late Triassic India. It's unlikely that dinosaurs this primitive had complex feathers like this, but the Jack of Hearts is carrying a feather, so I included more of them.
Kileskus was a wolf-sized primitive tyrannosaur from Middle Jurassic Russia. It's too bad that while early tyrannosaurs had cool crests, like Sinotyrannus and Guanlong, the later ones did away with them. I am not super happy with that sphere in the middle, but I wasn't sure what else to do to connect the two heads here.
Quetzalcoatlus was a giant pterosaur (flying reptile, relative of dinosaurs) from Late Cretaceous North America. The largest species, northropi, honors John Northrop, of Northrop-Grumman, for his development of airplanes that are shaped like this animal.
Jaxartosaurus was a lambeosaur (crested duck-billed dinosaur) from Late Cretaceous Kazakhstan. I went with all crested animals for the spades, but quickly ran out.
Since in my bird deck I used extinct birds for the jokers (Archaeopteryx and Dodo), I thought I'd reverse that here and make the jokers living dinosaurs. Here's a jandaya parakeet, also known as a jenday conure in the pet trade.
Since the Steller's Jay was included in my bird deck, I thought I'd do the closely-related blue jay here. If a blue jay is green, is it still a blue jay?
You’ve probably already seen the rest of these, since they were the page image for a regularly scheduled post, but I’ll include them here for the record anyway.
A Kronosaurus couple renews their pair-bond. It's hard to find art of this fearsome sea monster not attacking things, so I'm trying to balance the scales.
The giant horselike duck-billed dinosaur, Shantungosaurus, in a sort of ukiyo-e style.
Suchomimus, the least-aquatic of the spinosaurs recently studied.
Diplodocids were definitely the sexiest sauropods.
I also did the
Pocket Alphabestiary and the Time Traveller’s Cookbook these last few months, but they already got their own posts, so I won’t include them here.