Monday, July 4, 2011

The Carboniferous Gallery

Welcome to ART Evolved's first Time Period time capsule: The Carboniferous Gallery!

A gallery about a time period might contain art showcasing the abiotic and biotic factors of that specific time.  The Carboniferous stretched from 356Mya to 299 Mya, and was a time of great tree-fern forests and lower sea levels.  The atmosphere contained 163% higher levels of oxygen then now, which, along with the high moisture of the forests, allowed arthropods and amphibians to grow to enormous sizes.  The amniotic egg evolved, allowing for furthure exploration of land by early reptiles.

The Carboniferous Gallery allows us to go back in time and witness life as it may have looked those millions of years ago...

Click on the artwork to enlarge them, and be sure to leave a comment below!

Megalocephalus and Phlegethontia by A. Gaeta

Two Phlegethontia linearis aïstopods are buried eel-style in hopes of being overlooked by a pair of Xenacanthus gracilis sharks. A Megalocephalus enchodus swims overhead. Linton OH, in the Pennsylvanian subperiod/subsystem. Watercolors on watercolor paper. 11" x 15".

Giant Orthocone Cephalopods by Craig Dylke

 Schematic reconstruction of Lepidodendron by David Bressan

Fig.5. Schematic reconstruction of Lepidodendron as adult, fertile individual and younger individual lacking branches with spore cones, probably the usual habit to be spotted in the Carboniferous forest. Depending from author and reconstruction method, the branches of the mature plant were displayed as standing upright or sag to the ground. The scale tree is named after the typical structure preserved on the bark - the leaf cushion - structure that supported small, needle like leaves covering the upper part of the plant.

Be sure to read David's Enter the Coal Swamp Forest: The Giant Lycopsid, the series on the reconstructions of the major plant groups in prehistoric landscapes over at History of Geology.

Giants Stalking Giants by Peter Bond
The giant dragonfly Meganeura monyi sits blissfully unaware on a branch, as the giant scorpion Pulmonoscorpius kirktonensis creeps ever so slowly towards it's victim.  Fossils show the scorpion to be 70cm (2.3ft) long, and the dragonfly's wingspan surpassed 75cm (2.5ft)!  The Carboniferous provided these prehistoric insects and arachnids with an atmosphere of increased oxygen levels, which many scientists believe led to the increased size of these critters.  Wouldn't mind one of these beauts as a pet...

Carboniferous Love by Trish Arnold

Carboniferous Dragonfly by Bruce-Earl Barr

Crassigyrinus scoticus by Nathaniel Marseglia

Eryops skeleton by Anthony Contoleon

Pen sketch based on the photo here.

Eryck the Eryops! by Dinorider d'Andoandor

When I was a kid I created many characters for a series of comic strips featuring prehistoric creatures ... so this is Eryck my Eryops!  I made this picture more than a decade ago.

Cycad watercolor study by Scott Elyard

Psaronius watercolor study by Scott Elyard

Lepidendron watercolor study by Scott Elyard

If YOU would like to participate in this, or any other gallery here at ART Evolved, send your work to  While the Carboniferous Gallery is certainly not our largest gallery, it was an intriguing experiment in time capsules not focusing on a specific critter!

The next gallery DOES focus squarely on a specific type of critter - the Turtles!  Cowabunga dude!

The Turtle Gallery opens here September 1st 2011, so be sure to spend your Summer polishing up your shells!  So slow down, dive in, and send in your art-in-a-halfshell to by Sept 1st!

Thanks for stopping by, and spread the word to your friends about the next Gallery: Turtles!