Saturday, April 4, 2009

Synapsids in Art

Not to alarm you out there, but there is just under a month before our Permian Synapsid Capsule opens.

Now as Permian Synapsids are no where near as well known to the public as some extinct creatures, we thought it would be a good idea to maybe give you not only an idea of the diverse array of animals you have to choose from, but show you some different Palaeo-Artists interpretations of them.

Sadly as I'm separated from my book collection in Canada, I've had to compile this post from images off mostly wikipedia and the only book my local library had that included Synapsids. That book is Dr. Micheal Benton's The Reign of the Reptiles, and though it is nearly 20 years old it is still, a great resource on the entirety of prehistoric reptiles (and only 10 pages devoted to Dinosaurs, as he covers them in the next book in this series On the trail of the Dinosaurs).

Sadly The Reign of the Reptiles does not credit its individual illustrations with their creator. So the pictures I include in this post could have been by any of these artists: Graham Rosewarne, James Robins, Janos Marffy, or Sally Launder. UPDATE: James Robins has been kind enough to pop by the site, and alert me to whose work in the book is whose. All images from The Reign of the Reptiles posted here are his work, and any other pictures you might be curious about from this book he has credited in the comments section.

As for the wikipedia acquired pieces I am only able to give you a link for one of the artists. The way in which wikipedia organizes and sorts picture contributions is a little complex and non linear, and as a result unless an artist goes out of their way to create a personal gallery, you can not track down general gathering of their work. I was able to find the gallery of Arthur Weasley and you can see it by clicking here. Otherwise by checking out the wikipedia entry on any of the included critters you can try to track down these artists work (and if there is a way I missed to do so, please let me know).

So here is a brief, and not in anyway comprehensive, look at some of the Permian Synapsids. I've included skeletal references where I could find them. If you want to find out more about any of these creatures or where to get more references on them leave a comment below, and someone on the site will be able to help you out.

A Moschops Skeleton

Moschops by Dmitry Bogdanov

Estemmenosuchus by Mojcaj

A Gorgonopsid skeleton by James Robins.

A Gorgonopsid skull from The Reign of the Reptiles

Arctops by Arthur Weasley

Arctognathus by Arthur Weasley

Inostrancevia by Dmitry Bogdanov

Dicynodont Skeleton by James Robins.

Kingoria by Dmitry Bogdanov

Kannemeyeria Dmitry BogdanovWadiasaurus by Dmitry Bogdanov

Varanops by ДиБгд

Varanops by ДиБгд

Anomocephalus by Dmitry Bogdanov

Otsheria by Dmitry Bogdanov
Australosyodon by DiBgd

The Pelycosaurs
I included skeletals of the fin backs, but I'm sure you've all heard of these guys before. Edaphosaurus skeleton by James Robins
Edaphosaurus skull by James Robins

Dimetrodon skull from The Reign of the Reptiles

As a final note. Though we aren't trying to discourage people from doing fin backed Pelycosaurs, please think about doing a non fine back. After all there are TONS of fin back illustrations out there, and one of the goals of Palaeo Art is to bring back to "life" animals never before seen by human eyes. At the same time we aren't rejecting such pics either. We're just hoping to get a few different Synapsids is all. As there is a lot of them (many not even hinted at in this post!).