Monday, April 27, 2009

The Next Time Capsule

The people have spoken! The results of the next Gallery poll are in.

Our next Time Capsule will be:

Pterosaurs the flying reptiles, opening July. 1st.

Be sure to get in your take on everyone's favourite flying vertebrates. Send submissions to Also be sure to watch out for ART Evolved's summary of Pterosaurs in art. It might show you some takes you've never seen before, and give you some ideas for your own creation!

Finally be sure to have your say on the subject of the next capsule. The poll is located on the right sidebar.

You'll notice the choices are all invertebrates for September, which is only fair given the vertebrate domination of the galleries so far. We thought it fair that the majority of life get their shot to be recreated, as only a tiny percentage of organisms have ever had a bone of any kind in their bodies.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Synapsids in Art

Not to alarm you out there, but there is just under a month before our Permian Synapsid Capsule opens.

Now as Permian Synapsids are no where near as well known to the public as some extinct creatures, we thought it would be a good idea to maybe give you not only an idea of the diverse array of animals you have to choose from, but show you some different Palaeo-Artists interpretations of them.

Sadly as I'm separated from my book collection in Canada, I've had to compile this post from images off mostly wikipedia and the only book my local library had that included Synapsids. That book is Dr. Micheal Benton's The Reign of the Reptiles, and though it is nearly 20 years old it is still, a great resource on the entirety of prehistoric reptiles (and only 10 pages devoted to Dinosaurs, as he covers them in the next book in this series On the trail of the Dinosaurs).

Sadly The Reign of the Reptiles does not credit its individual illustrations with their creator. So the pictures I include in this post could have been by any of these artists: Graham Rosewarne, James Robins, Janos Marffy, or Sally Launder. UPDATE: James Robins has been kind enough to pop by the site, and alert me to whose work in the book is whose. All images from The Reign of the Reptiles posted here are his work, and any other pictures you might be curious about from this book he has credited in the comments section.

As for the wikipedia acquired pieces I am only able to give you a link for one of the artists. The way in which wikipedia organizes and sorts picture contributions is a little complex and non linear, and as a result unless an artist goes out of their way to create a personal gallery, you can not track down general gathering of their work. I was able to find the gallery of Arthur Weasley and you can see it by clicking here. Otherwise by checking out the wikipedia entry on any of the included critters you can try to track down these artists work (and if there is a way I missed to do so, please let me know).

So here is a brief, and not in anyway comprehensive, look at some of the Permian Synapsids. I've included skeletal references where I could find them. If you want to find out more about any of these creatures or where to get more references on them leave a comment below, and someone on the site will be able to help you out.

A Moschops Skeleton

Moschops by Dmitry Bogdanov

Estemmenosuchus by Mojcaj

A Gorgonopsid skeleton by James Robins.

A Gorgonopsid skull from The Reign of the Reptiles

Arctops by Arthur Weasley

Arctognathus by Arthur Weasley

Inostrancevia by Dmitry Bogdanov

Dicynodont Skeleton by James Robins.

Kingoria by Dmitry Bogdanov

Kannemeyeria Dmitry BogdanovWadiasaurus by Dmitry Bogdanov

Varanops by ДиБгд

Varanops by ДиБгд

Anomocephalus by Dmitry Bogdanov

Otsheria by Dmitry Bogdanov
Australosyodon by DiBgd

The Pelycosaurs
I included skeletals of the fin backs, but I'm sure you've all heard of these guys before. Edaphosaurus skeleton by James Robins
Edaphosaurus skull by James Robins

Dimetrodon skull from The Reign of the Reptiles

As a final note. Though we aren't trying to discourage people from doing fin backed Pelycosaurs, please think about doing a non fine back. After all there are TONS of fin back illustrations out there, and one of the goals of Palaeo Art is to bring back to "life" animals never before seen by human eyes. At the same time we aren't rejecting such pics either. We're just hoping to get a few different Synapsids is all. As there is a lot of them (many not even hinted at in this post!).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Permian Synapsid Show

Greetings, fellow paleo-artists! Gettin' ready for the May 1st art show? As you know, the topic is "Synapsida," but I'm afraid we're limiting that somewhat. Were we focus on the "Synapsida" in all its glory, we could potentially have such basal taxa as Ophiacodon right next to Mammuthus or Canis. That's not kosher. Synapsida is as diverse a brand as Sauropsida (they are sister groups, after all). So in an effort to reduce phylogenetic distance and, thus, confusion about what the show is actually about, I'm announcing a change to the lineup: the May 1st art show will focus on Permian synapsids. If I really wanted to screw with everyone, I would say Late Permian synapsids, as that would exclude pelycosaurs like Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus. But I won't be mean. However, that doesn't mean you can all do pelycosaurs because you're comfortable with them. Basal synapsids are wondefully diverse and wierd, and include such bizarre clades as the theriocephalians, dinocephalians, gorgonopsids, anomodonts, and more! None of these groups left living decendants.

I think we have a real opportunity to educate at Art Evolved, and Permian synapsids are woefully obscure. Let's bring 'em to life, folks! By the way, the wierdo above is Suminia getmanovi, the first herbivorous vertebrate to develop a shearing bite. See? Permian therapsids are awesome!