Shark Week 2017: Prehistoric Sharks–Helicoprion!

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30-Day Dinosaur Challenge: Favorite Theropod!

Oh, for heaven’s sake, could there be an easier answer for me?

I have several art challenges going at once…when I feel like doing one, I pick up that sketchbook, and I may not go back to it for a few days. I go at my own pace.

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(Here is a quick lesson on theropods.)

The general public not being total dinosaur nerds like me,I suppose most of the general public learned what a carnotaurus was once the Disney movie Dinosaur came out. I am happy to say I was made aware of it much earlier, back in the early 90’s, when I was in college. I found a bookstore downtown at my school that had some discounted book out front and found this great kid’s book called A Gallery of Dinosaurs and Other Early Reptiles, by David Peters. It is still one of my favorite dino books because every dinosaur or other reptile in it is pictured in a group of its peers, to scale. And with kids included so you can see, if you’re a kid, how you compare with the giants..or the shrimps! Anyway, this was my first look at Carnotaurus.

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Holy smokes, what a horror of a face.

 

I instantly loved it.

Prehistoric Animals: Basilosaurus!

Basilisaur

Today’s subject takes us to the seas,where once lurked  the 50-ton Basilosaurus. It was one of the largest animals of the Eocene era, rivaling earlier, landbound sauropod dinosaurs like Seismosaurus and Argentinosaurus in size. Basilosaurus was not a reptile at all, but a prehistoric whale. However, when its bones were first discovered in 1843, it was incorrectly identified as a marine reptile–hence its name, Greek for “king lizard.”

Basilosaurus had tiny flippers, relative to its massive bulk; it is believed that it swam by undulating its long, snake-like body and that it stayed close to the surface–its spinal structure and weaker musculature suggest that it could not dive deep and could catch prey only in short bursts of speed. Prehistoric whales like Basilosaurus actually descended from terrestrial mammals, and ‬evidence for this can be seen in the flippers.‭ ‬The front flippers still have an elbow joint,‭ ‬something that today is only seen in seals.‭