Amargasurus |Sarcosuchus attacking a group of Iguanodon. By Víctor Zubeldía:
“My main goal is to create atmospheres in my illustrations, my skills allowed me to paint scenes the way I like them to be, always trying to take to a different place than the usual and more strict paleo-llustration. I want to portrait a more imperfect and realistic world, where dinosaurs are dirty, or sick; where their color is more opaque, where there is beauty around them too.”
Read more about Víctor Zubeldía’s process: HOW I CREATE A PALEO ILLUSTRATION. Very interesting.
these are so unique and beautiful…
One of the predecessors to the modern horse. Though nearly identical in appearance to Equus, Pliohippus had deep depressions in its skull in front of its eyes, possibly an anchor point to hold muscles that powered its mobile lips. Pliohippus lived during the Miocene, and was around 12 hands high. It was well adapted to living on an open plain, and possessed only a single toe on each foot (despite what Wikipedia says), meaning it was a very fast and capable runner.
Newfound fossils of a giant dolphin-shaped reptilian predator are now shedding light on how the world recovered after the most devastating mass extinction in history, researchers say.
This prehistoric sea monster could provide information on how the planet might deal with the mass extinction humans are causing now, scientists added.
The giant marine predator was at least 28 feet (8.6 meters) long, fossils showed. The carnivore was recovered over a course of three weeks in 2008 from what is today a mountain range in central Nevada, and is now kept at the Field Museum in Chicago.
This new species, formally named Thalattoarchon saurophagis — which means “lizard-eating ruler of the sea” — was an early member of the ichthyosaurs, marine reptiles that evolved from land reptiles just as modern whales did from land mammals. Ichthyosaurs cruised the oceans for 160 million years, apparently going extinct about 90 million years ago, some 25 million years before the age of dinosaurs ended.
“They were the most highly adapted of all marine reptiles, acquiring a fishlike shape and giving birth to live young,” said researcher Martin Sander, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Bonn in Germany.
Thalattoarchon possessed a massive skull and jaws armed with large teeth with cutting edges used to seize and slice prey. The researchers say it probably could have tackled victims as large as itself or larger.
I had to draw this just now because I wrote this whole post and couldn’t find any restorations online at all!? I found mixed information as to whether it actually was an abelisaurid, so I had to generalise my restoration quite a bit.
This is the only Jurassic theropod, as well as being oldest abelisaurid known, found to have inhabited prehistoric Australia. During the Jurassic epoch Australia was attached to the supercontinent Pangaea, though placed in the far south. It would likely have supported similar animals as the rest of the landmass.
Ozraptor was around 10 feet long. Compared to the later Cretaceous abelisaurids, it possessed the long arms typical of its Jurassic relatives and was fairly small and primitive.
Though more primitive than its assumed relative Apatosaurus, they shared a great many similarities. Apart from thicker neck vertebrae and a different arrangement of shoulder bones (Eobrontosaurus had shoulders more like that of a macronarian, like Camarasaurus), they looked essentially the same. Eobrontosaurus was around 66ft in length and lived during the Late Jurassic.
Unusually for a sauropod, the gastralia of the Eobrontosaurus specimen were preserved. There has also been debate whether this dinosaur actually belongs within Camarasaurus, though it is generally accepted to be a diplodocid.
The skull and forelimbs of this fossil are missing, so it was only until other members of the group of alvarezsaurids were discovered that how strange they were could be fully appreciated. Its forelimbs were so specialised that they had lost all but one finger, and become extremely compact and robust. A similar liftestyle to that of the tamandua and other anteaters could be suggested, as Alvarezsaurus could have used its huge claw to tear into termite nests, which have been found to exist as far back as the Triassic. (Ants evolved during the Cretaceous period, but I don’t know personally whether they would have existed at the same time as the alvarezsaurids. If they did, then they probably would have eaten those too.)
Alvarezsaurus, as well as the others in its group, shares both reptilian and bird-like features. Its compact body, thin skull, simplified arms, fused ankle bones and breastbone suggest that it was closely related to the birds of the Cretaceous. In their case, the presence of a breastbone is linked more to muscles used to power their huge tearing arms, rather than for flight.
It has been proposed that the Therizinosaurids also fed on termites and other colonial insects, but this is mostly disregarded due to their sheer size and other herbivorous adaptations. The alvarezsaurids were small enough to have been able to subsist on such a diet.