August on this blog is Marine Reptile Month! Every day (except Sundays) there’ll be a new art post featuring an extinct example of these diverse animals. “Marine reptiles” don’t form any sort of distinct taxonomic clade – and none of them were dinosaurs – but they all represent a huge range of unrelated groups that each evolved their own adaptations for aquatic environments throughout geologic history.
Also each one will be done using a randomly picked color scheme from Colourpod, because
that’s what all the cool kids are doing right now it seemed like a fun challenge.
#1 – Utatsusaurus
Early Triassic period (245–250 mya)
The earliest known ichthyopterygian, Utatsusaurus was about 3m (9ft) long and showed several transitional features between its terrestrial ancestors and the more advanced members of the group. It had a broader skull with a less pointed snout, no dorsal fin, and the shape of its vertebrae suggest it swam by undulating its whole body with an eel-like motion instead of concentrating thrust in the tail like later true ichthyosaurs.
Color palette used: “Future Bell”