Here’s a project that never came to fruition, but it was still a fun idea to illustrate.

When I was a kid, I always wondered what type of dinosaurs roamed the San Francisco Bay Area.  I recently found out that dinosaurs never existed in the Bay Area, but what inhabited my hometown were prehistoric marine reptiles, fish and ammonite.  For the most part, SF was submerged thousands of feet underwater during the Mesozoic.

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“Rite of Passage”

Before the Philippines fell in the hands of the Spanish conquistadores, The Maharlika was the feudal warrior class of the Tagalog Region.

For the Maharlika, to become a man and a warrior, a boy begins training at an early age to prepare himself for the rite of passage. During puberty and when the moon is visible in the day light, he must hunt a ferocious beast and return with its deadliest body part as trophy. The more dangerous the beast, the manlier he becomes.

The Maharlika Initiate performs a ritual of sacrifice using a white fowl’s blood to create markings on his skin, as he follows instructions carved on a bamboo cylinder. The blood marks temporarily give its bearer protection, enhanced strength and speed; it can also enchant weapons to acquire magical properties.

The Sarangay was one of the favorite prey of The Maharlika Initiate and although a herbivore, turns hostile and attacks when provoked or threatened; it stands up on its hind legs to intimidate the threat and the natives mistaken it for a half-man monster. The Spanish Conquistadores slayed the few remaining ones for bounty, resulting to their extinction. Their ivory horns were highly valuable exports, traded via the Manila-Acapulco Galleon in the 16th and 17th century.


*This is a work of fiction, intertwining myth and history into magic realism. Magical blood markings and the reimagined sarangay creature were based from folklore. The rite of passage and the extinction of the creature are metaphors for the non-progressive traditions/practices of the natives and the Spaniards’ attempt to destroy the pagan roots of the ancient Philippines while exploiting the land.

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Pictish, Celtic and Norse Influenced prehistoric artefacts from the Scottish Isles, The National Museum of Scotland, 24.2.17.

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Paleopins are now up for sale on Etsy! 

I’ve got 15 designs up on the etsy, including the kickstarter exclusive Allosaurus skull that after I run out, won’t be made anymore!

Finally got myself a nice camera and took some good product shots :D

npr.org
How Frogs Benefited From The Dinosaurs' Extinction
Frogs are "master survivors," able to take advantage of the ecological vacuum left behind by extinct animals. Scientists say 9 in 10 frog species descended from three surviving frog lineages.

The asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago spelled disaster for the dinosaurs.

But scientists say they’ve found one silver lining to the mass extinction — turns out, it was really good for frogs.

The resilient animals date back some 200 million years. And in the aftermath of the extinction event, they survived and thrived, taking advantage of an ecological vacuum other animals left behind.

About 9 in 10 frog species today evolved from three frog lineages that survived the event, which occurred at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods, according to research published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Cors y Gedol Burial Chamber, North Wales, 12.4.17.

Last time I visited this site was in the last day of 2016. Very different weather this time! One of my favourite prehistoric burial chambers with a notable capstone. It is roughly 84ft in length and likely built in the Neolithic. 

TANYSTROPHEUS

Tanystropheus, infamous in the fossil record as a sea dweller that almost defied the laws of physics and biology. 


With a neck up 3 metres long, (that’s twice the size of an average man) containing only 10 highly elongated vertebrae, Tanystropheus remains one of the most bizarre animals to inhabit the Earth. This neck was also longer than Tanystropheus’ body and tail combined. To put it into perspective, the neck took up almost 75% of the whole body length.


To hold a neck so large off of the ground would have put huge strain on the shoulders and back, for this reason Tanystropheus is believed to have spent most of its time in the water. However the position of the legs and hips suggests that the animal could support itself on land, leading to many palaeontologists suggesting Tanystropheus was adapted to ambush hunting with its body on land and its head submerged in the water. Recent research of fossilised impressions Tanystropheus indicate the rear of the animal had greatly developed muscles shifting its centre of weight further from its neck, improving the balance of a somewhat clumsy looking animal.


Despite spending most of its time in the water, Tanystropheus wasn’t a strong swimmer, its feet were not webbed, and the neck was surprisingly stiff, as it consisted of only around 10 cervical vertebrae, movement was restricted to side to side motion.
Tanystropheus made a name for itself when it was discovered in the mid 1800’s, engineers estimated that this strange animal had the longest neck physically possible of on organism with relation to its body size. Oddly enough, Tanystropheus is a distant triassic relative to pterosaurs, dinosaurs and the modern crocodiles, yet they themselves went extinct around 205 million years ago.

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Doll Tor Stone Circle and Cairn, Derbyshire, 28.8.17.

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The King’s Men Stone Circle, England

The King’s Men are part of the Rollright Stones, a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments near the village of Long Compton, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Constructed from local oolitic limestone, the three monuments now known as the King’s Men and the Whispering Knights in Oxfordshire and the King Stone in Warwickshire, are distinct in their design and purpose, and were built at different periods in late prehistory.

The King’s Men is a a stone circle which was constructed in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age; unusually, it has parallels to other circles located further north, in the Lake District, implying a trade-based or ritual connection.

By the Early Modern period, folkloric stories had grown up around the Stones, telling of how they had once been a king and his knights who had been turned to stone by a witch; such stories continued to be taught amongst local people well into the 19th century. In the 20th century, the stones became an important site for adherents of various forms of Contemporary Paganism, as well as for other esotericists who hold magico-religious ceremonies there. They also began to appear more widely in popular culture, featuring in television, literature, music and art.

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Dolmen 2, Ilton near Masham, Yorkshire, 14.8.17.