Mosasaurs from the Arctic Circle: Part 2

The Western Interior Seaway has occupied a space in almost every museum that I’ve been to, and it’s no question why. Most well-known prehistoric sea creatures lived here, and their fearsome appearance and abundance of remains lend them frequent roles in popular books, movies, and video games. However, while this shallow sea of the interior harboured familiar monsters, the deeper Pacific held a whole different series of beasts.

The Western Interior Seaway has occupied a space in almost every museum that I’ve been to, and it’s no question why. Most well-known prehistoric sea creatures, such as Tylosaurus, Mosasaurus, Elasmosaurus, Xiphactinus, Dolicorhynchops, and the massive turtle Archelon lived here, and their fearsome appearance and abundance of remains lend them frequent roles in popular books, movies, and video games. However, while this shallow sea of the interior harboured familiar monsters, the deeper Pacific held a whole different series of beasts.

Continue reading “Mosasaurs from the Arctic Circle: Part 2”

Mosasaurs from the Arctic Circle: Part 1

The Peace Region of Alberta and British Columbia has recently been exposed as a haven for palaeontology. However, the vast majority of vertebrate fauna from this region are terrestrial, and very little marine fauna was known. That is, however, until a 2014 paper highlighted the remains from 8 marine reptiles from just north of Grande Prairie.

Sea Monsters from the Peace Region

The Peace Region of Alberta and British Columbia has recently been exposed as a haven for palaeontology(1). Here, not only fossils but trackways have been uncovered, including one famous example that showed a group of Tyrannosaurs on the prowl. However, the vast majority of vertebrate fauna from this region are terrestrial, and very little marine fauna was known(2). That is, however, until a 2014 paper by Phil R. Bell, Frederico Fanti, Mark T. Mitchell and Philip J. Currie (the namesake of the Peace Region’s Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum) highlighted the remains from 8 marine reptiles from just north of Grande Prairie(3). Continue reading “Mosasaurs from the Arctic Circle: Part 1”

Mosasaur Teeth: A New Perspective

If you have ever seen an artistic depiction of a Mosasaur, you would likely see very large teeth jutting out of the jaws. However, what if the affliction of tooth exposure that until recently plagued dinosaur art also affected Mosasaurs?

An Introduction

If you have ever seen an artistic depiction of a Mosasaur, you would know that they had very large teeth. And why shouldn’t they? After all, they are prehistoric predators, and if a predator doesn’t have teeth showing, there is definitely a drop in the “cool factor” of the animal. This was the reason behind the shrink wrapping of prehistoric animal mouths that until very recently left dinosaurs with exposed teeth when their mouths were closed. This changed due to an exceptional study by Robert Reisz revealed that the teeth were hidden by fleshy gums when their mouths were closed(1).  Continue reading “Mosasaur Teeth: A New Perspective”

Drawing “Log Jam”

The large Theropod is swept downstream by a sudden flash flood, along with several downed logs. Managing to survive a small waterfall along its route, the carnivore is swept up against a natural log pile, and, before it can move free, a new series of logs is swept in, one pinning its leg underneath it.

If you’re a fan of palaeontology, chances are you’ve heard of Prehistoric Times Magazine. It is run by the ever hard working Mike Fredericks, and instead of having staff illustrators for each issue, it leaves it open to the readers to send in their art in advance. For this issue (#119), the featured animals were Acrocanthosaurus and Eohippus (which I was not able to paint due to time constraints) (1). Instead of doing just any old Theropod, I decided to try doing one in a pose that, to my knowledge, had not been done before. Continue reading “Drawing “Log Jam””

Painting the Djadokhta Formation

Mongolian dinosaurs are a group that I have never really known much about, and after getting some good pictures during a trip to the Carcross Desert, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and illustrate some Mongolian palaeofauna.

I would like to start this post as a shout-out to a palaeontological crowdfunding project which surpassed its goal at 101% about two weeks ago. The Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs, or ISMD, launched this effort to help preserve Mongolia’s fossil heritage as well as to educate future generations about palaeontology. Continue reading “Painting the Djadokhta Formation”