Dinotopia is a fictional utopia created by author and illustrator James Gurney. It is the setting for the book series with which it shares its name. Dinotopia is an isolated island inhabited by shipwrecked humans and sentient dinosaurus who have learned to coexist peacefully as a single symbiotic society. The first book has “appeared in 18 languages in more than 30 countries and sold two million copies.”Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time and Dinotopia: The World Beneath both won Hugo awards for best original artwork.


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.

“Iguana tooth”
Early Cretaceous, 126-125 million years ago

Iguanodon was the first dinosaur discovered, and one of three initially recorded as “dinosaurs.” The first fingers (“thumbs”) of this duck-billed herbivore had a strong spike that could have been used as a defensive weapon. (These thumb spikes were first mistaken for horns or teeth, giving Iguanodon its name.) Just think – they would have given Iguanodon the impression of constantly giving thumbs up! But of course, Iguanodon’s approval was impossible to attain.

Baryonyx walkeri

My version of a strange, piscivorous theropod dinosaur that lived around 130 to 125 million years ago, in the Early Cretaceous of Europe: Baryonyx. A member of the Spinosaurid family, one Baryonyx specimen was found with evidence of fish scales in the area of the stomach, and was also associated with some Iguanodon bones; I’ve portrayed it here as if about to grab the fish Scheenstia, while a lone Iguanodon forages in the distance. Two pterosaurs known as Istiodactylus fly overhead.

The Natural History Museum in London produced a great short video about the discovery of Baryonyx, which can be seen here:


An excellent skeletal drawing of Baryonyx, by the ever-rigorous Scott Hartman, can be found here:


I had set myself a personal goal this year of making a new digital painting for each issue of Prehistoric Times Magazine, and this is the final image to complete the series. I’m also hoping to create a new piece of digital music for each new image I make – sort of an ongoing multimedia paleoart project – and the soundtrack for this painting can be found here at my SoundCloud page:

And a higher res version of the image, here:


Please do not reproduce or use without permission, and thanks for viewing (and listening)!