Review by Mattyonyx, photos by RobinGoodfellow and Supsy (DinoToyBlog)
Although CollectA has accustomed us to replicas of little-known dinosaur species and in some cases even based on very recent discoveries, when the first Saltriovenator Stock image was shown among the models that would be released in 2020, the surprise for Italian enthusiasts was immense: shortly after the description of Dal Sasso, Maganuco and Cau, the third Italian Mesozoic dinosaur species would have had its first replica!
Although the fossil fragments of this animal are fragmented, the studies of the three paleontologists have determined that it was a Ceratosaurid with an estimated length of about 8 meters and a weight that was around the ton, making it the largest theropod in the Lower Jurassic; the CollectA model faithfully reproduces the skeletal reconstruction of this dinosaur, portraying it in a pose that is not excessively dynamic, but reminiscent of the Artwork by Davide Bonadonna that accompanied the first article on the official description.
This pose, with the head turning to the right and looking upwards, can give the idea of a predator attracted by a noise in the distance or intent on facing an animal larger than itself, in line with the hypothesis that the Saltriovenator predated sauropods from its area. The body is adequately robust, the coloring is not as striking as in other models of the company and the row of osteoderms on the back reflects the knowledge about ceratosaurs in general.
The Head Sculpt replicates the speculative reconstruction of the dinosaur skull, including slightly rounded nasal and lacrimal crests. The head itself is not Shrink-wrapped and the details of the skin are among the most beautiful seen in a CollectA theropod, just look at the area around the eyes to realize how meticulous the work has been.
The head also represents a first for the company, as it is the first sculpted with the idea that the animal had “lips”: the teeth are partially covered by a layer of skin and do not give the sensation of crocodile teeth, even if they remain visible with the mouth closed; it would be nice to see full coverage someday, but that’s a step forward.
The best preserved remains of the animal belong to the forelimbs and in particular to the hands, which proved essential both in outlining the path of simplification from a pentadactyl hand to a three-toed hand in the evolution of birds, and in understanding how well it was adapted to predation: these in fact could hold the prey with force with a pincer action and penetrate the flesh with strong thrusts.
This aspect is well represented in the CollectA model: the hands have three fingers with claws and a vestigial fourth, as evidenced by the fossils, and in general the limbs are more developed than those of the Ceratosaurus of the same company, a sign that this was careful of the ‘highlight the differences between the two species.
Another noteworthy detail are the feet: usually CollectA applies bases to its bipedal models, while in this case it is preferred to guarantee stability by sculpting slightly larger feet with very open toes. Although this choice may be divisive, the work of sculpture should be noted: the feet differ greatly from the Standard Collecta, with a shape that recalls those of runners, and even in this case the details are particularly meticulous.
Ultimately it is a model that not only bases its charm on Italic belonging, but also on how it combines the proverbial accuracy of CollectA with some interesting novelties and pleasant details in the sculpture, factors that make it among the best theropods made to date. from the company.