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!).


Nima said...

Whoa man! I've always liked therapsids. These things are even cooler than dinosaurs to be honest.

So far Estemmenosuchus and Inostrancevia are my top picks to draw. Therapsids have fascinated the hell out of me literally since first grade. Thanks to The (old) Learning Channel and PaleoWorld lol...

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

These creatures are among the weirdest and coolest animals I've ever seen! They are soooo bizarre!

Diictodon is a cute one too!

Raptor Lewis said...

Nice ideas! Thanks, but what about Therinaxodon?

Traumador said...

raptor- i can not find a reference to any animal called Therinaxodon

if you meant a Theriodonts, than yes most certainly!

if you mean Thrinaxodon, it is a synapsid... .

though for the record technically speaking it is from the triassic, and not the permian.

we'll still probably take it for the show, but we are hoping to encourage people to examine synapsids from the permian they might not otherwise have heard of.

this link here to wikipedia has the greater family that Thrinaxodon evolved from

james.g.robins said...

Re - Reign of the Reptiles.....Graham Rosewarne painted the main reconstructions and group scenes, Janos Marfly the timeline diagrams, Sally Launder the timeline on pp 18-19. I drew the skeletal reconstructions, including the ones in your post. J.

Metalraptor said...

Out of curiosity, are non-finbacked pelycosaurs allowed, or short-finned ones that people maybe haven't heard of like Ctenospondylus?

Prehistoric Insanity said...

James- Thank you so much for popping by and clearing that up! I've popped into the post to update that. So you'll find everything has your name on it now (as it should!)

I loved everyone's work in that book (and the book itself too!), and have found it the best popular source on most of the animals contained with it.

Metalraptor- We aren't saying no to any synapsids. It is just our first tally of participates had about 90% Dimetrodon and Edaphosaur pictures coming in. Things are diversifying now, so feel free to do a fin back. Especially a Ctenospondylus (it is obscure which we're all about).