Biography:Gregory S. Paul

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Short description: American researcher, author and illustrator
Gregory S. Paul
Gregory S Paul in Princeton.jpg
Paul in 2011
Born (1954-12-24) December 24, 1954 (age 68)
Washington D.C., United States
Known forDinosaur Renaissance
Scientific career
FieldsPaleontology, Paleoart, Sociology
InfluencesCharles R. Knight, William Scheele, Bill Berry

Gregory Scott Paul (born December 24, 1954) is an American freelance researcher, author and illustrator who works in paleontology. He is best known for his work and research on theropod dinosaurs and his detailed illustrations, both live and skeletal.[1] Professionally investigating and restoring dinosaurs for three decades, Paul received an on-screen credit as dinosaur specialist on Jurassic Park and Discovery Channel's When Dinosaurs Roamed America and Dinosaur Planet. He is the author and illustrator of Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988), The Complete Illustrated Guide to Dinosaur Skeletons (1996), Dinosaurs of the Air (2001), The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (2010), Gregory S. Paul's Dinosaur Coffee Table Book (2010), The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs: 2nd Edition (2016), The Princeton Field Guide to Pterosaurs (2022), The Princeton Field Guide to Mesozoic Sea Reptiles (2022) and editor of The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (2000).



Stegosaurus stenops and Allosaurus fragilis mounts posed after illustrations made by Gregory S. Paul, Denver Museum of Nature and Science[2]

Paul helped pioneer the "new look" of dinosaurs in the 1970s.[3] Through a series of dynamic ink drawings and oil paintings he was among the first professional artists to depict them as active, warm-blooded and – in the case of the small ones – feathered.[3] Many later dinosaur illustrations are a reflection of his anatomical insights or even a direct imitation of his style.[1][4] The fact that he worked closely with paleontologists, did his own independent paleontological research and created a series of skeletal restorations of all sufficiently known dinosaurs, lead many to regard his images as a sort of scientific standard to be followed.[5] This tendency is stimulated by his habit of constantly redrawing older work to let it reflect the latest finds and theories. Much of it is in black-and-white,[6] in ink or colored pencil. Sculptors have used these anatomical templates as a resource for decades,[7] and still do today[8] many unauthorized and uncredited[9] Even one of his scientific critics, Storrs L. Olson, described him in a review in the Scientific American as "a superior artist". He was inspired by classic paleoartists such as Charles R. Knight, and has a fondness for the dinosaur restorations of the little-known artist Bill Berry.[10][11]

Paul's line art and paintings have been published in over 100 popular books and shown in more documentaries than other modern paleoartists [12] including several television programs such as The Nature of Things, NOVA, Horizon, and PaleoWorld.[2]


From 1977 to 1984, Paul was an informal research associate and illustrator for Robert Bakker in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.[2] Paul lacks a formal degree in paleontology, but has participated in numerous field expeditions and has authored or co-authored over 30 scientific papers and over 40 popular science articles.[2] Paul proposed that some of the bird-like feathered theropods were winged fliers, and that others were secondarily flightless, an idea supported by some fossils from China. Paul proposed the controversial thermoregulatory concept of "terramegathermy", which argues that only animals with high basal metabolic rates can exceed one tonne on land.[13][14] Paul has named the following dinosaurs, alone or with co-authors:


  • Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988)
  • The Complete Illustrated Guide to Dinosaur Skeletons (1996)
  • Dinosaurs of the Air (2002)
  • The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (2010)
  • Gregory S. Paul's Dinosaur Coffee Table Book (2010)
  • The Princeton Field Guide to Pterosaurs (2022)
  • The Princeton Field Guide to Mesozoic Sea Reptiles (2022)
  • The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (editor, 2000)

See also

  • Dinosaur renaissance
  • Feathered dinosaurs
  • Paleoart


  1. 1.0 1.1 Paleoartistry: 1970s
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Curriculum Vitae – Gregory S. Paul: Books, Articles, Abstracts & Other Projects
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gregory S. Paul: The Full Autobiography Part 3
  4. Products & Services - Gregory S. Paul: Available For Projects, Commissions
  5. Naish, D. (2009). The Great Dinosaur Discoveries. A & C Black Publishers Ltd, London. p. 138
  6. Jane P. Davidson. (2008). A History of Paleontology Illustration, Indiana University Press, p. 180
  7. Rimell, R. (1995)Building and Painting Model Dinosaurs. Kalmbach Publishers, Wisconsin. p. 40
  8. Debus, Allen and Bob Morales. Dinosaur Sculpting: A Complete Guide (2013) p70, 112, 143
  9. Telleria, R. The Visual Guide to Scale Model Dinosaurs (2012), p19, 21.
  12. "Autobiography - Gregory S. Paul: Bringing Them Back to Life". 
  13. Paul, G.S., Leahy, G.D. 1994. "Terramegathermy in the Time of the Titans: Restoring the Metabolics of Colossal Dinosaurs." in: Rosenberg, G.D., Wolberg, D.L. (eds). DinoFest. The Paleontological Society Special Publication 7. U. Tenn. Press. Knoxville pp:177–198.
  14. Paul, G.S. (1998). "Terramegathermy and Cope's Rule in the Land of Titans". Modern Geology 23: 179–217. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 G.S. Paul, 1988, Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. Simon & Schuster, New York pp. 1–464
  16. Brett-Surman, Michael K.; Paul, Gregory S. (1985). "A new family of bird-like dinosaurs linking Laurasia and Gondwanaland". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 5 (2): 133–138. doi:10.1080/02724634.1985.10011851. 
  17. Paul, G.S. (1988). "The brachiosaur giants of the Morrison and Tendaguru with a description of a new subgenus, Giraffatitan, and a comparison of the world's largest dinosaurs". Hunteria 2 (3): 1–14. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Paul, Gregory S. (2008). "A revised taxonomy of the iguanodont dinosaur genera and species". Cretaceous Research 29 (2): 192–216. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2007.04.009. 
  19. Elzanowski, A.; Paul, G.S.; Stidham, T.A. (2001). "An avian quadrate from the Late Cretaceous Lance Formation of Wyoming". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20 (4): 712–719. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2000)020[;2]. 

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