Occasionally species turn up in the fossil record, or in deed alive - think Coelocanth - that simply shouldn't be there, that should have died out like the rest of their kin thousands or millions of years before their time. It is generally supposed that the end came for Dicynodonts in the Norian era of the Triassic, some 210 - 225 mya. In 1915, however, some fossil bone fragments were unearthed in Early Cretaceous rocks of N. Queensland, Australia which may indicate this was not the case. The most significant of these finds was was a piece of upper jaw bearing the stump of a tusk ( see below) identical to that of a Dicynodont. In 2003 the finds were reappraised by Dr. Tony Thulborn and Dr. Susan Turner from Monash University in Melbourne and declared to be definitely from a Dicynodont, but some 105 million years younger than it's nearest known contemporary. My reconstruction must be viewed as highly speculative with so little information to go on, but should reflect most of the salient features of the beast - probably. As far as I know it is still un-named and goes by the enigmatic label QMF.15.990. It would have been about 2m long.
OK, so I'm new to this bloggin' business, but I'm already having a crisis of confidence over the appropriateness of the format. I read Tetrapod Zoology, Theropoda, Dave Hone's Arcosauria Musings and their ilk avidly, there's rafts of information, new and reappraised, to impart and absorb, cross questions to negotiate and opinions to disseminate - lively forums of discussion. As an illustrator, as a 'paleoartist', this feels uncomfortably on the level of vanity publishing, ego-stroking - a look at me, aren't I clever - showcase. OK in the back of my mind lurks the wish that publishers and palaeontologists will suddenly discover me and recognise my worth....but then you have to be doing what publishers want to see.....
Anyway, what the hell, press on....Appropriateness - I've long been fascinated by the curiosities of the Australian fauna ( I have a signed copy of David Fleay's 'Paradoxical Platypus' - but then, maybe he signed them all ), and to celebrate Australia Day - which was only three weeks ago, sorry - I'm posting a set of drawings of the Platypus. These were prepared about a decade ago, the idea being to publish monographs of individual species, much in the way that Profile Publications did for airheads and petrolheads all those years ago. There are no live Platypii in the UK, so these were drawn from museum exhibits ( Booth's Museum in Brighton were particularly helpful ), videos of live animals and published material. As is the way of these things, the project was never completed. There will be more - Procoptodon, Thylacoleo and the enigmatic QMF.15.990.....Watch this space, if you can be arsed....J
Male standing, showing rolled membrane on one forepaw.
Unashamedly, to mark the day of Love and Loss, I post a couple of tetrapod angles on St. Valentine's Day. If I could back it with Tom Waite's 'Blue Valentine', then so I would, as it is, just hum, or put your lips together and blow. J
With apologies, an unfinished drawing.....this was in preparation as an entry for Draw a Dino day, but the combined pressures of earning a crust and moving home meant it was to remain unfinished by the due date and was set aside - like too much else in my life. But today, just a few minutes ago, I cast an eye over Andrea Cau's Theropoda blog and lo! there stood MY Anchiornis, well almost......maybe this time it will be finished....but first I have just a few things to do......
...A Tyrannosaur is held at bay by the keepers from the Trike crew, giving a small flock of Parasaurolophus time to flee through the tree ferns, disturbing a couple of dromaeosaurids in the process of dispatching a hypsilophodontid on the edge of the boating lake....another busy day here in Wyoming's Cretaceous Park.......pencil drawing, about 2001 (I think).....
James (Jim) Robins, illustrator. Graduated Brighton College of Art 1971, has worked in most areas of publishing in a broad range of subject areas and using many and varied techniques, for more of which go to his website at www.jr-illustration.co.uk.
This blog is intended as an archive and showcase of my natural history and palaeontological work. Samples here cover nigh on forty years, and therefore reflect the ongoing theories of tetrapod evolution over that time, so there will be no apologies for positions of necks, tails and hands, possession of feathers - or not - which may not concur with current ideas. Due to copyright limitations there are many omissions, old drawings often pop up - usually uncredited - in clipart and museum archives. Others, after just a single airing have disappeared into the back of a filing cabinet, never to see the light of day again. Everything shown here is under my copyright, please treat this with respect.
If however, you would like to use any of these images, please contact me at: email@example.com