Using silhouettes to create the composition, I feel, was a major help to the overall design. Blocking in the shapes, and understanding how everything was going to be arranged helped me to not get overwhelmed with the complexity, and level of detail I wanted to put into this piece.
As for the concept:
Some scientists believe that dinosaurs could be the ancestors of birds. The elements in this piece are the state birds, and state flowers from the states I’ve called home: Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. And, the Tyrannosaurus Rex (which is one of my favourite dinosaurs!) who also called these states home.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.
American Museum of Natural History, Part 15: The Birds are Dinosaurs Exhibit, part 12: INCREASE THE FEATHERS
Okay not going to lie the “small, feathered fossil things” section started to blur together after a while and my memory isn’t always the best. I know the first photo is Anchiornis, then a Lithornithid, then Messelornis, then Xiaotingia, but beyond that for the fossils I am at a loss and I apologize. @albertonykus?
Proterosuchus means “early crocodile”. It lived around 250 million years ago in the early Triassic and was arguably the biggest land animal present on Earth at that time, however compared to modern animals, it was about the length of a Komodo dragon. Like modern crocodiles, Proterosuchus had an immensely strong tail that could push it through the water at impressive speed. Also like the crocodiles of today, Proterosuchus was probably an ambush predator, patiently waiting for prey to come just a little too close before attacking. When Proterosuchus did attack, prey were unlikely to escape, its iconic hook shaped upper jaw meant not only could the animals deliver a deadly bite, but it could also hook into the animal making it virtually impossible to break free from.
Proterosuchus had well developed legs, it made both the land and water its home, this is a great advantage to predators as they have more options of places to hunt and prey to find. Yet Proterosuchus’ location of the eyes suggests that it preferred to hunt land animals. The eyes are located on top of its head so it may have hunted much like modern crocodiles, submerging itself in the water and patiently waiting for passers by to come for a drink, it would then strike and trap the unfortunate animals in its inescapable jaws. Adapted to both land and water, Proterosuchus had another huge advantage, it could use its enviroment to regulate its body temperature, by warming up in the sun and cooling in the water. This saves huge amounts of energy and reduces the amount the animal needs to feed. Fossils of Proterosuchus were first discovered in 1903, and were said to be an early example of an archosaur, archosaurs are an incredible group of animals containing not on crocodiles, but also birds, dinosaurs and pterosaurs. The extinction of the giant predators of the Permian allowed Proterosuchus and archosaurs to grow to impressive sizes, with deadly features.
Although Proterosuchus seems like the perfect predator, it was not to last and disappeared around 245 million years ago, in its place would rise the dinosaurs.