What we know of this creature.
What we know of this creature.
The sailion sailed the seas, to scoop up the corpses of animals that flowed out of rivers. Such a majestic beast.
She's an Anurognathus. This is her surprised face.
You'd better hope it's friendly.
Pterodactyls are better than birds.
Istiodactylus, scavenging an ornithopod carcass.
This is a guide for people currently on Twitter thinking of trying to move to Mastodon. It is mainly for people who have an audience or community, rather than casual browsers. I want people to move to Mastodon, so that's my bias, but I'm going to try to be honest about the drawbacks and difficulties you will encounter.
First the good. Mastodon, and the network it is part of (The Fediverse) is a nicer place to be than Twitter. In general, engagement is higher, and people are less snarky. It is run by independent communities all over the world, and can literally never be bought out by billionaires. It is near feature-parity with Twitter for most people, and has some perks of its own (editing posts!). You can get a variety of different very nice apps that work with it perfectly. It can interoperate with other software that uses the same protocol, there's an Instagram-like application called Pixelfed, and a Youtube-like application called Peertube: you can follow these things right in your Mastodon account.
Okay, but what are the challenges?
Firstly, there are a couple of myths that might need dispelling:
So what are the real challenges?
If you arrive on Mastodon, and just start posting, you may find it a disappointing experience. Major commercial social networks have algorithms that give you a lift when you're starting out, but Mastodon has no such algorithms. So you need to find people to follow more or less manually, and engage with the community to be noticed. Commenting, liking and boosting (retweeting) other people's posts is the way you do this. It definitely takes longer than it would on Twitter or Instagram, but it will work. Follow more people on Mastodon than you would on Twitter. You will not usually have a good experience if you follow less than a hundred. Follow hashtags (yes you can do that, sweet feature!) too, as they will bring you the content you crave.
Mastodon is a much smaller network, no getting around that. Follower counts are lower (although engagement is better). Most of the people that have made a successful transition have been pretty aggressive about it. They have moved, largely stopped posting to Twitter, and repeatedly told people to find them on Mastodon. If you continue to post to Twitter, make it clear you're not moving if other people don't it won't work. You need to move your audience or community with you to some degree, and keeping your feet in both camps is a recipe for failure.
Search on Mastodon is pretty useless. It searches only hashtags and names, and even then of only a small portion of the Fediverse. This can be frustrating, but it's best to make your peace with it. Think of Mastodon as truly being a social network. You find people by getting introduced to friends of friends through posts and boosts.
Sordes was a pterosaur from the late Jurassic Kazakhstan. Specimens include soft tissue such as it's wing membranes and fur, so we have a comparitively good idea of what it looked like.
Caviramus was a pterosaur from the Late Triassic of Switzerland. It had a rather special nose.
Oh look, it's my old friend Molly, with a body for a face and face for a body!
Anchisaurus fighting in the Early Jurassic.
Dinodontosaurus was a dicynodont therapsid (mammal-line tetrapod) from the Mid- to Late Triassic.
I don't know a lot about these animals, so there may be errors.
A body. Of a theropod - probably an allosaur of some sort.
This is the forth painting in a series, where I am attempting to avoid deliberately posing and placing the animals in a composition. Usually we compose animals in scenes for aesthetic reasons, and avoid confusing angles or poses. Obscuring parts (particularly heads and eyes) is nearly always avoided. What if I try to purge those rules? Will a new sort of naturalism develop?
Abelisaurus was a meat-eater from the Late Cretaceous of South America.
Camarasaurus was a chunky sauropod from the Late Jurassic of North America.
Mamenchisaurus was a VERY long-necked dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of China. Quite the looker, too.
A flock of Campylognathoides liasicus, some time in the Late Jurassic.
This is the third painting in a series, where I am attempting to avoid deliberately posing and placing the animals in a composition. Usually we compose animals in scenes for aesthetic reasons, and avoid confusing angles or poses. Obscuring parts (particularly heads and eyes) is nearly always avoided. What if I try to purge those rules? Will a new sort of naturalism develop?
Tapejara, a medium-sized pterosaur from the Cretaceous of South America –in a tree.
The Late Cretaceous pterosaur Pteranodon ingens, flying back home.
Supersaurus in a forest in the Late Jurassic.
This is the second painting in a series, where I am attempting to avoid deliberately posing and placing the animals in a composition. Usually we compose animals in scenes for aesthetic reasons, and avoid confusing angles or poses. Obscuring parts (particularly heads and eyes) is nearly always avoided. What if I try to purge those rules? Will a new sort of naturalism develop?
In this painting I closed my eyes as a moved the animals and trees from side to side. So they are (somewhat) randomly placed. However, it is derived from an uncompleted painting where the animals were posed without the idea of uncomposition in mind, so there's still elements of the process to work on.