sauropterygian

3

Here are a couple recent pseudo-saurian drawings from my sketchbook. 

On the top we have a large carnivore with quasi ceratopsian and sauropterygian anatomy lurking by the side of a pond; waiting for hapless prey to swim by. 

On the bottom we have a disgruntled ceratopsian chasing a pterosaur out of his territory. it is difficult enough to graze without pestering pterosaurs about, it would seem.

- 8" x 10" graphite in a Moleskine. 

-Both of these drawings depict fictional animals, and are therefore works of fantasy rather than paleoart. 

transgenderer  asked:

Pleiosaurs Alive In Scotland

Ah, yes.  Good old Nessie.

While I’m sure she needs no introduction, the Loch Ness Monster“Nessie” for short - is a creature of unknown origin and classification that is alleged to live in Loch Ness, a lake in Scotland.  Although accounts of monsters in Loch Ness supposedly date back to the seventh century, Nessie was not brought to the world’s attention until 1934, when this iconic photo was taken.

Many people took this as proof that Nessie was a plesiosaur, and that the sauropterygians had somehow survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and were alive and well in Loch Ness.

There’s only one problem with this theory (apart from the fact that this photo has been definitively proven to be a hoax): plesiosaurs couldn’t hold their necks like that.  They did not possess the musculature necessary to hold their necks in an S-curve like the one pictured.  (The possibility remains, however, that this was a later adaptation, developed in order to peek their heads up to check for photographers.)

A number of other theories as to Nessie’s true nature have since been put forward.

  • It’s a giant squid.
  • It’s an otter.
  • It’s a bird floating on the water.
  • It’s a giant eel.
  • It’s an elephant.
  • It’s a piece of driftwood.
  • It’s a giant shark.
  • It’s a seal.
  • It’s a wave.
  • It’s an optical illusion.
  • It’s a giant amphibian.
  • It’s a giant polychaete worm.
  • It’s a displaced relative of the bunyip.
  • It’s anything other than a plesiosaur.

Nessie isn’t the only famous “plesiosaur” in the world, either.  Lake Champlain in the New York/Vermont area of the US has a monster of its own, called “Champy”, who loans his likeness to the Minor League Baseball team, the Vermont Lake Monsters.  Lake Seljord in Norway has one named “Selma”.  Mountain Goats fans may be familiar with the Lake Tianchi monster of China.  The Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada is home to a monster called Ogopogo, who allegedly originates in First Nations mythology.  A monster from the Congo River basin, the Mokele-mbembe, is often considered to be a surviving sauropod.  And this isn’t even touching on all the rotting dolphins and basking shark carcasses that wash up on beaches, and that enthusiastic believers hold up as evidence of extinct reptiles still swimming the oceans today.

In truth, it’s highly unlikely that any of these animals are still alive.  The ecological niches they once occupied are now controlled by large fish or aquatic mammals, and no realistic evidence has been found of their continued existence.  But, as a die-hard prehistoric animal lover, I can’t help but appreciate the willingness of certain people out there to keep on believing, and their unshakable hope that such amazing animals might still be out there somewhere, in the unmapped reaches of the sea.