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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Colin McElroy20/Male/United States Group :iconlostworldreborn: LostWorldReborn
 
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Late Cretaceous Animals by MickeyRayRex Late Cretaceous Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 53 4 Mid-Cretaceous Animals by MickeyRayRex Mid-Cretaceous Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 64 16 Early Cretaceous Animals by MickeyRayRex Early Cretaceous Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 66 1 Late Jurassic Animals by MickeyRayRex Late Jurassic Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 64 2 Early/Mid Jurassic Animals by MickeyRayRex Early/Mid Jurassic Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 89 5 Triassic Animals by MickeyRayRex Triassic Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 83 3 Permian Animals by MickeyRayRex Permian Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 105 11 Carboniferous Animals by MickeyRayRex Carboniferous Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 82 0 Devonian Animals by MickeyRayRex Devonian Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 72 4 Silurian Animals by MickeyRayRex Silurian Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 60 2 Cambrian and Ordovician Animals by MickeyRayRex Cambrian and Ordovician Animals :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 83 7 The Dandy Lion by MickeyRayRex The Dandy Lion :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 29 2 Beautiful Tyrant by MickeyRayRex Beautiful Tyrant :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 61 10 Unicorn of the Elephant Grass by MickeyRayRex Unicorn of the Elephant Grass :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 43 2 Jaguar in the Jungle by MickeyRayRex Jaguar in the Jungle :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 37 5 Pachyrhinosaurus by MickeyRayRex Pachyrhinosaurus :iconmickeyrayrex:MickeyRayRex 58 5

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Late Cretaceous Animals
†Baptornis advenus: hesperorniths like the loon-sized Baptornis were the first group of birds to colonize the oceans. Baptornis like most of its relatives was flightless with small stubby flipper-like wings yet long, powerful hind legs with lobbed feet similar in shape to modern grebes. While these legs propelled this bird quickly underwater, the position of the hip and knee joints prevented them from being able to walk on land, forcing them to push on their bellies whenever on land which was probably only to nest. Baptornis had a longer neck than most of its relatives, as well as a long beak full of needle-sharp teeth perfect for catching small fish and squid.

†Enchodus petrosus: this bony fish is a cousin of still-living fish such as trout and salmon that could have grown over four feet long. It's most peculiar feature is a pair of fierce-looking fangs on the upper and lower jaws that grew up to 2.4 inches long, often causing Enchodus to be called "saber toothed herring". These teeth along with large eyes suggest Enchodus was a largely predatory fish. Enchodus thrived in waters worldwide even after the extinction event 66 million years ago that destroyed most other marine life.

†Struthiomimus altus: among the fastest of all dinosaurs, Struthiomimus was a species of ornithomimosaur from North America. Like others of its family it strongly resembled a modern ostrich, from where Struthiomimus gets its name, in both body and likely lifestyle. It had a small head with big eyes and a long, toothless beak for feeding on anything from leaves and fruits to small animals and eggs. It weighed around 330 pounds and stretched 14 feet long with a long stiff tail, long arms and claws and long powerful running legs. Fossils of relatives such as Ornithomimus suggest Struthiomimus was feathered like an ostrich.

†Parapuzosia seppenradensis: ammonites were a successful group of cephalopods characteriszed by long coiled shells similar to a modern nautilus. For the entire Mesozoic ammonites swam the seas snaring small prey with their tentacles and hiding from predators within their shells. Parapuzosia from the late Cretaceous of Germany and North America was the largest of all ammonites with a shell diameter of as much as 11 feet and a weight of over 3,000 pounds.

†Troodon formosus: a cousin of the more famous and powerfully built raptor dinosaurs like Velociraptor, Troodon was a very bird-like carnivore from North America. With long slender legs and a thin yet sharp killing claw on its foot Troodon was adapted to running down smaller prey than the raptors. Its teeth suggest it may have also fed on plant material as well as meat. Famous for having one of the biggest brain-to-body ratios among dinosaurs Troodon was an intelligent hunter with keen senses, especially sight with huge forward-facing eyes meaning it was likely a nocturnal predator.

†Titanoceratops ouranos: horned and frilled ceratopsians were some of North Americas most common and diverse large herbivores with dozens of species spread across the continent each with their own horn arrangement. Titanoceratops from New Mexico was a close relative of Triceratops and grew almost as massive weighing 7 tons and stretching 22 feet long. Its skull was one of the largest of any land animal ever at 8 feet long with long brow horns, a shorter nasal horn and forward-pointing spikes at the top-center of the frill. Like other ceratopsians Titanoceratops likely used its horns and frill for protection from hungry tyrannosaurs; making it look bigger and stronger, and to repel rivals and attract females. The frill was likely brightly colored.

†Saurolophus angustirastris: duckbilled dinosaurs, or hadrosaurs, were another very successful group of herbivores than ranged in vast herds all over Asia and North America, with Saurolophus being find on both continents in the late Cretaceous. At almost 40 feet long Saurolophus was one of the bigger hadrosaurs although some species rivaled many giant Jurassic sauropods in size. It had a crest on its head like many of its cousins, although Saurlophus' crest was little more than a small spike. Its broad bill helped it crop mouthfuls of vegetation while batteries of back-teeth ground food to a pulp. Its crest and snout likely supported a resonating chamber that gave the animal a deep honking-call.

†Mosasaurus hoffmanni: Mosasaurus was one of the last and the largest of a group of marine reptiles known as mosasaurs; evolved from land-dwelling lizards in the same family as still-living monitor lizards. From snout to tail it measured over 50 feet long and was armed with massive conical teeth in a powerful set of jaws that tackled almost all kinds of aqautic prey including fish, ammonites, giant squid, turtles, sharks, other marine reptiles and even smaller mosasaurs. It swam with its body held stiff while the long, fluked-tail propelded it forward.

†Beelzebufo ampinga: often known as the Devil frog, Beelzebufo was the largest frog to ever hop the planet weighing nearly 10 pounds with a 16 inch long body. Found on the island of Madagascar, Beelzebufo was probably an ambush hunter like modern horned frogs; its closest living relatvies, lying in wait for prey to cross its path. With a large mouth and unusually strong bte force, this monster frog could have chomped down prey as large as young dinosaurs.

†Zalambdelestes lechi: this small mammal from Mongolia was a primitive eutherian, a cousin to the placental mammals that most living species belong to, including humans. Its back legs suggest it moved by hopping, and its sharp teeth indicate it was an insect-eater. Despite being a eutherian, its epipubic bone means it probably bore under-developed young like marsupials do.

†Daspletosaurus torosus: a close cousin and possible ancestor to the famous Tyrannosaurus rex, Daspletosaurus was the top predator of Montana and Canada 75 mya. At around 30 feet long and three tons it was larger than other tyrannosaurs of the same time but was smaller than Tyrannosaurus. Like other tyrannosaurs Daspletosaurus was equipped with huge bone-crushing jaws and serrated teeth that would have delivered devastating bites into prey such as ceratopsians and hadrosaurs. The short, two-fingered arms were probably used only to lift it up off the ground and weren't needed to dispatch prey. Its possible Daspletosaurus and its cousins were social predators living in groups, while bite marks found on the skulls of many specimens show that these animals engaged in fierce face-biting battles, even if they did team up to hunt.

†Stygimoloch spinifer: a type of pachycephalosaur, Stygimoloch had a thick dome of bone on top of its skull surrounded by several spikes and bumbs. A bipedal herbivore with a horny beak and sheering teeth, Stygimoloch probably tried to outrun most larger predators such as Tyrannosaurus while it may have fight smaller ones off with its heavily armored head. It likely used its head most often to fight others of its own kind over food, territory and mates, although how dinosaurs like this fought with thier heads is still uncertain as a head to head collision would be fatal. Perhaps Stygimoloch rammed at each-others flanks until one animal backed down.

†Didelphodon vorax: Didelphodon was a species of metatherian mammal from North America. A cousin to modern marsupials, it had a long body with short limbs and a heavy skull with powerful jaws an teeth, almost like an otter with the head of a Tasmanian devil. These features suggest that it may have been aquatic and fed on primarily hard foods such as snails and bones as well as small animals, fish, carrion and perhaps plant matter.

†Hatzegopteryx thambema: Hatzegopteryx was one of the largest pterosaurs of all with a wingspan of nearly 40 feet from tip to tip and stood almost as tall as a giraffe when on the ground. The region of Europe where the fossils were found was a small island at the end of the Cretaceous. Known as Hateg Island it was home to many species of dinosaur that grew smaller than their mainland relatives over time. Hatzegopteryx however was larger than most of its kind and dwarfed almost every other animal on the island. With keen eyesight and a massive sharp beak it was likely the apex predator of Hateg Island; prowling in foot like an enormous stork and snatching up anything it could grab.
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Mid-Cretaceous Animals
†Koolasuchus cleelandi: giant amphibians have prowled the planets waterways since the Carboniferous, but in the early-Cretaceous about 120 mya, Koolasuchus was the only one of its kind left. At around 16 feet long and over half a ton this beast was far bigger than any other amphibian of the time or any today, and would have been a formidable ambush predator of Australia's lakes and rivers. In the Cretaceous Australia was positioned within the Antarctic Circle, and although there were forests instead of ice-caps, it still got much colder than in the rest of the world. This kept crocodilians from invading Koolasuchus' habitat, allowing it to survive up until the mid-Cretaceous.

†Onchopristis numidus: this prehistoric sawfish from North Africa was very similar to the highly endangered sawfish of today, but grew much larger at around 25 feet. Its rostrum was longer than a human and lined with barbed teeth for raking through the stream-bed in search of prey. This massive fish likely was a favorite prey of the giant fish-eating theropod Spinosaurus.

†Oryctodromeus cubicularis: this small ornithopod found in Idaho was unusual in that it is one of the few dinosaurs known to have burrowed. Like others of its kind it was still a swift runner that may have quickly retreated to its burrow to flee predators like modern maras.

†Carcharodontosaurus saharicus: at over 40 feet long and between 6 and 15 tons, Carcharodontosaurus was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs of all, even bigger than Tyrannosaurus. Its massive skull was filled with long serrated teeth built like a sharks, giving this dinosaur its name. Although thin and unable to crush bone, these teeth were still perfect for making deep slicing wounds, causing prey to die from blood loss and shock.

†Anhanguera blittersdorffi: Anhanguera was a pterosaur from Brazil that had a wingspan of 15 feet. Its long beak had jagged teeth at the tip for snatching fish as well as rounded crests on the top and bottom likely used for attracting mates.

†Argentinosaurus huinculensis: this sauropod from Argentina was part of a very common group called the titanosaurs, the last of the sauropods. This species was one if the largest dinosaurs and largest land animals ever, weighing as much as 90 tons and growing nearly 100 feet long. Giants like this marched across the plains constantly searching for food, all the time avoiding the few giant carnivores that could try to take them down.

†Nothronychus mckinleyi: Nothronychus was part of a very odd family of theropods called therizinosaurs. Although cousins of bird-like carnivores like the raptors and tyrannosaurs, these animals were mostly plant-eaters with leaf-shaped teeth, beaks, long necks and large stomachs. Nothronychus also had powerful arms with long claws that would have been used for protection and for pulling down branches to feed off.

†Pterodaustro guinazui: this South American pterosaur was one of the strangest of all flying reptiles. Its long beak had no teeth but instead had long sheaths coming out of the lower jaw, very similar to the baleen of filter-feeding whales. Pterodaustro most likely used its strange jaw in the same way as a flamingo to filter small crustaceans out of the water.

†Dolichorhyncops osborni: this short-necked plesiosaur was about the same size as a modern dolphin and probably lived like one, hunting fish and squid in the shallow sea that split North America in half during the Cretaceous.

†Kaprosuchus saharicus: often nicknamed the boar-croc due to its several tusk-like teeth, this crocodilian was a formidable predator in mid-Cretaceous Africa. The position of its eyes and legs suggest it spent more time on land than in water, meaning it may have actively preyed on land-dwelling dinosaurs.

†Steropodon galmani: this small mammal from Australia was one of the earliest monotromes; the same order that includes the platypus and echidna, the only modern egg-laying mammals. The structure of the jaw suggests Steropodon had a bill-like mouth similar to the platypus and may have swam after fish and crustaceans.
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Early Cretaceous Animals

The Cretaceous was the third and final period of the Mesozoic Era, spanning from 145 to 66 million years ago. Earth's two great Northern and Southern landmasses; Laurasia and Gondwana continued to break up into smaller but still mostly connected continents. By the end of the Cretaceous most of the continents we see today would be somewhat recognizable. North America and Asia were still connected and Europe was still mostly covered in shallow seas, creating a vast archipelago of islands. Madagascar had separated from India and Africa to become its own landmass, and South America, Antarctica and Australia were still connected as well. North America was for up until the very end of the Cretaceous split in half by a shallow sea known as the Western Interior Seaway. The Atlantic Ocean between Africa and North America was about half as wide as it is today. The global climate was generally warm and humid throughout the Cretaceous, but there were a few episodes, especially towards the end, where the climate turned temperate. The poles had no glaciation, but temperatures dropped low enough for snow to fall at least.

Life continued to flourish as it did during the Jurassic, with plants and animals taking on more and more forms. The first flowering plants evolved in the early Cretaceous, including oaks, magnolias, figs, sycamores, and maples, which by the end of the period had started to largely replace more ancient types of plants such as ferns, cycads, and conifers, although these were still very common. The earliest grasses are also believed to have appeared in the late Cretaceous, though it would be millions of years after this time period before they would dominate the Earth's flora as they do now. Many new types of insects appeared as well such as ants, bees, wasps and butterflies. The first of these pollinating insects co-evolved with the first flowering plants; the mutual symbiosis between them helped each-other spread throughout the world. The largest and most ecologically important terrestrial vertebrates of this time were still the dinosaurs, and during the Cretaceous they became even more diverse and widespread. Groups are found on every part of the globe in almost every terrestrial habitat. Sauropods grew even larger than in the Jurassic, culminating in the enormous titanosaurs; the biggest land animals of all time with some species weighing nearly 100 tons. By the late Cretaceous, however, sauropods rarely grew so huge with most species weighing less than 10 tons, and inhabiting mostly the southern continents. In the north several new families of giant herbivores evolved to replace the sauropods, including the heavily armored ankylosaurs; cousins of the stegosaurs(who died out early in the period), the horned and frilled ceratopsians like Triceratops, and the duckbilled hadrosaurs many of which held bizarre crests on their heads. Smaller two legged ornithopods were still common along with the strange pachycephalosaurs, herbivores with thick bony domes at the top of their skulls. The biggest carnivores varied throughout the Cretaceous; in the early-mid Cretaceous giant carnosaurs like Carcharodontosaurus ruled most of the world, but by the end of the Cretaceous two groups ruled different parts of the planet. In the south there were the deep-skulled and short-armed abelisaurs like Carnotaurus, and in the north the similarly short-armed but more famous tyrannosaurs like Tyrannosaurus. Smaller more bird-like theropod dinosaurs exploded in diversity from the fearsome dromaeosaurs armed with lethal claws on their feet to giant long-necked therizinosaurs with massive claws on their hands for reaching into trees, to the ostrich-like ornithomimisaurs. Some small bird-like dinosaurs lived mostly in the trees, some forms even becoming able to glide, and at least one species of spinosaurid theropod adapted to living mostly in water. True birds became very diverse by the late Cretaceous, though most species still retained primitive characteristics such as teeth and clawed wings. Pterosaurs grew larger and larger until some species had wingspans as long as an airplane, although only a handful existed by the end of the period. Other kinds of reptile thrived as well, from crocodiles which grew large enough to feed on giant dinosaurs, to the earliest limbless snakes to several families of marine reptiles. Ichthyosaurs died out in the mid-Cretaceous but were replaced by the giant mosasaurs; marine lizards in the same family as monitor lizards. Long and short-necked plesiosaurs were still common alongside giant turtles, fish, sharks and ammonites. On land mammals were still mostly confined to the shadows, but they still came in a wide range of shapes from small burrowers and tree-climbers up to cat-sized terrestrial hunters. The first marsupials and placentals appeared before the period ended, although none of them resembled their modern descendants.

About 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous, an extinction even occurred that wiped out roughly 75% of all species on Earth at the time, most famously all of the non-avian dinosaurs. This extinction event is one of the most well-studied with the overall consensus being that it was caused by an asteroid about the size of Mt. Everest colliding with Earth near what is today Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The impact triggered earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions across the globe along a rain of super-heated debris which ignited globe wildfires. On top of all of this was a massive cloud of ash and dust soon covered the planet, blocking out the sun for perhaps as long as several years. The end result was something akin to a nuclear winter. Dropping temperatures, toxic fallout and lack of sunlight caused the global food web to collapse with plants dying off first, then plant eating animals followed by predators that fed on them. The dinosaurs with their great size and high metabolisms could not stand against this sudden and catastrophic change. But many other groups also either completely vanished such as the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, and ammonites, or suffered tremendous losses as did fish, mammals and birds. Aside from turtles and crocodiles, no tetrapod larger than 55 pounds survived.

†Hyphalosaurus lingyuanensis: this small reptiles from the family known as Choristodera, was one of the most common freshwater animals of Chian 122 mya. With smooth, flat scales, a tall, flattened tail, webbed feet and long neck it was a well adapted swimmer which may have feed on small fish and other aquatic prey. Well preserved fossils show that Hyphalosaurus gave birth to live young.

†Repenomamus robustus: Repenomamus was an unusually large mammals from early Cretaceous China. At up to 13 pounds it was as big as an opossum, and the largest mammal known from the age of dinosaurs. It was a stocky, ground-dwelling carnivore that hunted small prey, which, based on fossilized stomach contents, included newly hatched dinosaurs.

†Utahraptor ostrommaysorum: the largest of the dromaeosaurs, or raptors, Utharaptor grew up to 23 feet long and weighed as much as a polar bear, making ti one of the top predators of early Cretaceous North America. Armed with powerful jaws full of sharp teeth, long claws on both its hands and feet, Utahraptor may have hunted in packs or alone.

†Sinocalliopteryx gigas: this feathered carnivore was a cousin of the famous Compsognathus, though it was much bigger at 8 feet long. Fossils show bones of smaller feathered dinosaurs, including early birds, in its stomach.

†Caudipteryx zoui: one of the first feathered dinosaurs known to science, Caudipteryx resembled a turkey with a short skull and small teeth in its beak. It was likely an omnivore feeding on leaves, seeds, fruits and insects. Feather impressions in the fossils show a long fan of feathers on the short tail as well as long wing-like feathers on the forearms. This animal could not fly but likely used these feathers for display.

†Iguanodon bernisartensis: this large ornithopod was one of the first two dinosaurs to be scientifically described in the early 19th century and was also one of the most common kinds of herbivore 125 mya. Growing 30 feet long and weighing 3 tons, it was one of the first types of dinosaur that were able to chew plant matter with powerful cheek teeth. Iguanodon had a long claw on its thumb used for defense and for fighting one another.

†Tupandactylus imperator: this large pterosaur from Brazil had a massive crest made of skin supported by bony spines on its head. This crest was likely brightly colored an used for display or perhaps as a sort of sail to help when flying. Like other large pterosaurs it probably fed on fish, although some believe it used its large beak for crushing heavy fruits.

†Suchomimus tenerensis: a smaller cousin of the famous giant Spinosaurus, Suchomimus was still huge at over 30 feet long. It was equipped with powerful forearms with huge hooked claws and a long, narrow crocodile like snout, all used for hunting fish and other aquatic prey.

†Sauropelta edwardsorum: this 17 feet long ankylosaur from North America had massive spikes covering its neck and shoulders while its back, tail and head were covered in bony scutes. Heavily armored ankylosaurs like this replaced their cousins the stegosaurs by the mid-Cretaceous.

†Eoconfuciusornis zhengi: this magpie-sized bird from China was one of the first birds to develop a horny beak instead of a toothy-snout. It also lost the bony-tail but still had claws on its wings. A pair of long, strange feathers stuck out for the end of its short tail, the purpose of which is uncertain.

†Psittacosaurus mongoliensis: this sheep-sized herbivore was one of the first ceratopsians, a group that included the dozens of giant horned and frilled dinosaurs like Triceratops. Psittacosaurus itself had no frill or horns but did have a pair of spikes jutting out of its cheeks as well as a strong parrot-like beak from which it gets its name. Long quill-like structures grew from the lower back and tail. Recent studies suggest that this dinosaurs coloration was darker on the face and top of the body and lighter on the underside, a technique known as countershanding and a useful form of camouflage in a forested environment.

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Late Jurassic Animals
†Dryosaurus altus: one of many species of small bipedal plant eaters of this time, Dryosaurus grew up to 14 feet long and weighed around 200 pounds. It was a fairly typical small herbivore, a bit like a deer in terms of ecological niche. It had a small beak for cropping plants with cheeks for holding in food while grinding it up. It had a long neck, short forearms and long powerful hindlegs and a long stiff tail. The legs and tail would have made Dryosaurus a fast and agile dinosaur, and without great size or any body armor its speed would have been its main defense against predators. It may have lived in herds where an individual would always be on alert for danger.

†Apatosaurus ajax: a cousin of the famous Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus was one of the many giant sauropods that roamed the plains and forests of North America in the late Jurassic. This species was around 75 feet long and weighed as much as 40 tons, bigger than eight living elephants. Its long, unusually thick neck allowed Apatosaurus to graze over a large area of low lying vegetation such as ferns or to reach high into trees. Sauropods peg-shaped teeth could not chew, so Apatosaurus swallowed stones to grind food up in its stomach. Like its cousins Brontosaurus and Diplodocus, Apatosaurus' tail was long and thin at the end, resembling a whip. The dinosaur likely used this whip-like tail as a weapon against any predator large and bold enough to attack it.

†Castorocauda lutrasimilis: this mammal or mammal-relative from China shows how mammals became specialized and diverse long before they claimed the planted after the death of the dinosaurs; Castorocauda is one of the earliest known aquatic mammalians. Its 17 inch long body resembled an otter or beaver with webbed feet, a paddle-shaped tail and teeth designed for eating fish. Its forelimbs look like they were adapted for digging burrows, possibly alongside riverbanks like the platypus. Weighing nearly 2 pounds, this was the largest mammal of the Jurassic.

†Ceratosaurus nasicornis: Ceratosaurus was found from North America to Europe to Africa. Despite its wide range it was not as common as other large theropods like Allosaurus. Nor was it the largest, with a body length of less than 30 feet and weighing about 1 ton. It is named for the large thin horn on its snout and the two smaller ones above the eyes. These structures would not have made good weapons but were probably brightly colored and used for display. Very long blade like teeth and powerful jaws made Ceratosaurus a formidable predator, though not big enough to take on the giant sauropods.

†Kentrosaurus aethiopicus: this 15 foot long herbivore from Africa was smaller than its famous relative Stegosaurus, but it was much spikier. Like Stegosaurus, Kentrosaurus had tall bony plates lined up in a double row along the neck and back and spikes on the tail, but it had more spikes sticking out of the top of the tail all the way to the hips. The spiked tails of stegosaurs sometimes called "thagomizers" were deadly defensive weapons against large carnivores like Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus. Kentrosaurus also had a long spike sticking out from the shoulder, providing protection to the animals front side as well. The back plates may have been brightly colored to attract females or ward of rival males and predators. The small snout and low stature of this dinosaur suggest it browsed on low shrubs like a black rhino.

†Pterodactylus antiquus: the first flying reptile to be described by paleontologists, Pterodactylus lived in Europe around 150 mya. It was fairly typical for a pterosaur with a wingspan of 3 feet. Its long snout had several pointed teeth a the end which helped it catch fish and other small prey. Some evidence suggests it had a large crest on the back of the head which may have been used to attract mates. Pterodactylus was one of the first pterosaurs to develop a short tail and a larger head whereas most other Jurassic pterosaurs had long tails and proportionally small heads. After the Jurassic period all pterosaurs would have short tails.

†Anchiornis huxleyi: Anchiornis is one of the earliest bird-like dinosaurs as well as one of the smallest non-avian dinosaurs, about the size of a crow. Fossils found in China are so well preserved that almost the entire life appearance of Anchiornis is known, from the structure and arrangement of its feathers to its color. Most of the body was covered in downy feathers while the tail, legs and arms bore long vaned feathers. These feathers formed an aerodynamic plane on both the arms and legs, turning them into wings that the dinosaur may have used to glide. Both its hands and feet had long gripping claws suitable for climbing trees, which may have been where it glided from over the forest floor. Fossilized melanosomes; pigment cells that gave the feathers color, were found preserved and show that most of Anchiornis body was dark gray with its wing feathers striped black and white and with a red crest at the back of the head and small red specks on the side of the face.

†Hybodus fraasi: Hybodus is a genus of sharks that survived from the Permian to the end of the Cretaceous. One species lived in the shallow seas of Jurassic Europe. At six feet long ti was not a large shark but an adaptable predator. It jaws held two types of teeth, one type for catching fish and other slippery prey and another for crushing hard shelled prey. A pair of short horns were placed on top of the sharks head, and the dorsal fin had a long bony spike in front of it, possibly for defense.

†Juramaia: a tiny shrew-like animal, Juramaia is very typical for a Jurassic mammal in terms of body shape and lifestyle; it may have lived in trees hunting insects, most likely at night to avoid small meat-eating dinosaurs. But a nearly complete fossil skeleton suggests it was the first eutherian mammal; split off from the metatherians, the ancestors of marsupials, and an ancestor of placental mammals, including most modern mammal, even man.

†Saurophaganax maximus: this huge carnosaur theropod was very similar to is close relative, the more common Allosaurus, but was much bigger; around 40 feet long and three tons it approached Tyrannosaurus rex in size. Saurophaganax would have been the top predator of North America during the late Jurassic, preying on stegosaurs, camptosaurs and even giant sauropods, given it would have to work in a group to take down healthy full grown adult sauropods. Like Allosaurus it had a pair of tall crests over the eyes and powerful forears with massive claws.

†Opisthias rarus: this small reptile from North America looked like a lizard but was actually a type of sphenodont, a group of reptiles that today includes only one living member, the tuatara of New Zealand.

†Volaticotherium antiquum: along with Castorocauda(which lived in the same environment), Volaticotherium shows how early mammals became specialized for different niches well before dinosaurs died out. Fossils show that this animal had a fur-covered skin membrane or patagium between its forelimbs and hindlimbs as well as between the hindlimbs and the tail. This allowed Volaticotherium to glide from tree to tree like modern day flying squirrels and sugar gliders do. The structure of its teeth suggest it feed on insects or perhaps small animals.
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Early/Mid Jurassic Animals

The Jurassic period was the second period of the Mesozoic era and lasted from about 200 to 145 million years ago. The giant supercontinent of Pangaea had split apart into two smaller supercontinents; Laurasia in the North(which would break up into North America, Europe and most of Asia) and Gondwana in the south(which would break up into South America, Africa, Antarctica, Madagascar, India and Australia). This split in the Earth's single landmass triggered critical changes in climate. While the earlier Triassic period was hot and dry, the Jurassic saw a much more humid climate as new coastlines formed and ocean currents came into contact with more of the land. By the early Jurassic much of what was once desert transformed into lush forest. The movements of the Earth's crust also resulted in raised sea levels and many lowland areas flooding. Most of Europe was underwater making the continent more like a massive island chain between North America and Asia, while the rift between the dividing lands of Africa and the Americas created what would become the Atlantic Ocean, although by the late Jurassic it was little more than a thin channel of water.

After the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event life continued to flourish with the surviving groups of animals filling the voids of those that perished. No group had a greater claim to the planet than the dinosaurs who, after the extinction of most other large land reptiles, were free to evolve into all different shapes and sizes and spread across the globe. By the mid-Jurassic, roughly 180 mya, the dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates on every continent. Their growth was fueled by the spread of vast forests dominated by conifers such as giant redwoods, as well as tree ferns and ginkgo trees with the forest floor and open plains covered in ferns, horsetails and cycads. In this lush new world dozens of new families of dinosaurs evolved. Carnivores known as the theropods ranged from insect hunters the size of ducks to huge predators weighing as much as an elephant armed with massive jaws and sharp claws on their forearms. The dominant herbivores of this time were the sauropods, enormous dinosaurs with long necks and tails and small heads with peg-shaped teeth. By the late Jurassic these creatures were already the largest land animals of all time, some species growing over 100 feet long and weighing over 40 tons. Smaller herbivores included two-legged ornithopods about the size of a human and the bizarre stegosaurs with backs lined with tall plates and tails armed with deadly spikes with protection. Some smaller theropods developed feathers for display, insulation and in some species for gliding or flying, and developed specialized bones for flight. These dinosaurs included the first birds. Pterosaurs became larger and more diverse as well with some species losing the long tails and jagged teeth of early forms. Crocodilians were common, with most of the group becoming less terrestrial and more aquatic; some species even becoming marine. Many smaller reptiles and amphibians flourished in the undergrowth of forests such as the first lizards and salamanders and early turtles and frogs. The last of the cynodonts known as tritylodonts, small herbivores, lived until the end of the Jurassic. True mammals diversified beneath the shadow of the dinosaurs. Most mammals were small ground-dwelling insectivores but a few species became specialized for burrowing, swimming, climbing and even gliding niches. The warm oceans, especially the shallow seas that covered most of Europe, were full of fish and ammonites; cephalopods with spiral-shaped shells. Sharks hunted alongside many kinds of marine reptiles such as the dolphin-like ichthyosaurs, long-necked plesiosaurs and the giant short-necked pliosaurs.

†Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni: this was one of the first large pliosaurs; short-necked cousins to the plesiosaurs, and lived in the shalolw seas of Europe around 180 mya. Rhomaleosaurus grew up to 23 feet long. Its four long flippers gave it great speed and agility when moving through the water after prey, which probably included fish, ammonites and smaller marine reptiles.

†Dilophosaurus wetherilli: Dilophosaurus was one of the first large meat eating dinosaurs to evolve and would have been the top predator of the early Jurassic North America, growing over 20 feet long and weighing almost half a ton. Its jaws were notched at the front with long front teeth suggesting it was adapted to hunting fish or other aquatic prey. The name means "two-crested lizard" due to the dinosaurs tall, thin crests on its head. Its likely they were sued for display as they were not strong enough to be used as weaponry.

†Heterodontosaurus tucki: this odd dinosaur from South Africa was from an early group of ornithischian dinosaurs, the same order that many herbivores like Stegosaurus and Triceratops belong too. Heterdontosaurus is named for its different kinds of teeth in its mouth; the front of its beak had small incisors for nipping food followed by a pair of sharp tusk-like teeth on both the upper and lower jaw with the back of the mouth full of grinding teeth. Some believe these different teeth allowed Heterodontosaurus to eat plants and meat, or that the tusks were sued for defense and fighting.Fossils of related species show that these small dinosaurs were covered in long bristles that may be structures similar to feathers. The longer bristles resembled the quills of a porcupine and may have protected the animal from predators.

†Dimorphodon macronyx: this early pterosaur from Europe had a large head and tall snout, resembling a modern puffin but with long sharp teeth, and a wingspan of around 4.6 feet. Whether this pterosaur lived near the coast and caught fish or lived inland and hunted insects and small animals is not known for sure. The proportionally large head and short wings suggest Dimorphodon was not as good of a flier as other pterosaurs, but its long hand and foot claws made it a competent climber.

†Scelidosaurus harrisoni: this was one of the first thyreophorans or armored dinosaurs and was an early cousin of the famous stegosaurs that would appear later in the Jurassic. Scelidosaurus lived in Europe and North America around 190 mya. It was large for an early plant eater, up to 13 feet long and 600 pounds. It probably moved on all fours for most of the time, feeding on low-growing vegetation. Much of its body was covered in series of bony scutes like a crocodile, giving Scelidosaurus good defense against predators like Dilophosaurus.

†Oligokyphus triserialis: tritylodonts were the last group of non-mammalian cynodonts who survived up until the end of the Jurassic. Most of these like Oligokyphus were herbivores, with large rodent-like incisors. Oligokyphus would have scurried through the undergrowth feeding on seeds and low-vegetation.

†Shunosaurus lii: during the early Jurassic the sauropod dinosaurs began to not only get larger but develop more heavily built bodies and limbs and start to walk strictly on all fours. by the mid-Jurassic the sauropods had already become the largest animals on land and the chief herbivores of their ecosystems. Shunosaurs lived in China roughly 170 mya and was one of the first large sauropods, weighing around four tons and growing 30 feet long, though sauropods of the late Jurassic would become several times as large as this. Shunosaurus' most distinctive feature is a large bony spiked-club on the end of its tail, most certainly used to fight of predators.

†Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis: this carnivore was a megalosaurid that lived in the islands of Europe around 160 mya. Growing around 20 feet long and half a ton it probably got most of its food by scavenging on dead sea animals on the beaches of the islands it lived on as not many other large dinosaurs lived on those islands. It may have had to swim between islands in search of food and mates like komodo dragons do today.

†Metriorhynchus superciliosus: Metriorhynchus is part of a family of crocodilian-relatives who adapted to life in a marine environment. This species grew around 10 feet long and was one of the most specialized in its family. It had a streamlined body, a finned-tail similar to a sharks, webbed feet resembling flippers, salt glands that allowed it to drink salt water and feed on marine prey without dehydrating, and skin free of the tough bony scutes of land crocodiles. These adaptations made Metriorhynchus a swift oceanic predator of fish and ammonites. Some believe Metriorhynchus gave birth to live young in the water as other marine reptiles do. Its smaller size and lack of protective scutes would have made it vulnerable to larger predators like pliosaurs.


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Happy New Year everyone! This past orbital cycle around the sun has really been crazy for everyone I think. Personally it was probably one of if not the worst in my life for me and my family, but I've pulled through, and we'll pull through whatever challenges this next year faces! I'm especially excited for all the discoveries and achievements to be made in the realms of zoology, paleontology and environmental conservation this year!

As for what you can expect from me this year, here are some things to look forward to:
-The completion of my illustrations of all the major living mammal families(as well as some extinct/ancestral families, call it "honorable mentions" perhaps!)
-Illustration of all the major families and orders of living birds. With 10,000 known extant species, this will probably go on through the year.
-Art from BioTopia; the largest and most scientifically advanced zoological park in history where animals living and extinct roam together to give people an understanding and appreciation for the natural world and where research and technology come together to resurrect the past, inspire the present, and preserve the future!
-Art from the Neoterranic Period, 50,000,000 years after the Anthropocene and the extinction of humankind. 
-More reconstructions of prehistoric animals as well as depictions of living species.

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MickeyRayRex
Colin McElroy
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
I am a nerdy college guy with an extreme passion for animals of all kinds, especially extinct ones, and a talent and appreciation for art.

What you can expect to see from me:Dinosaurs and paleoart, wildlife art, biblical pieces, speculative evolution works, and perhaps fan-art.

If you love animals(dinosaurs included), have a kind, accepting heart, aren't afraid to be creative or weird, and aren't a douche, lets be friends!

The only real reason I am good at art is because I love animals and have always loved animals.

God and Christianity are important to me, yet I accept the theory of evolution as fact. It's not that hard, people!

I believe that all living things are connected, both spiritually and physically through evolution, and that my way I can please God is to help animals.

My all-time dream is to create my own exotic animal sanctuary so that I can save abused, abandoned and neglected exotic animals and give them natural homes that thy deserve.

Two things make me incredibly angry, abuse and neglect towards animals(especially animals in the exotic pet trade like keeping tigers and lions as pets!) and creationists blatant disregard of paleontological, geological, genetic, and archaeological evidence against their literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

Any girls out there that wanna draw dinosaurs and rescue tigers with me?

If you don't wanna read the description these stamps sum me up pretty well!(NOT MINE, I JUST USED THEM!)
No more arguments about this by G-manluver Evolution Stamp by Kezzi-Rose :thumb343626740: Bile is Vile by TipsyDigital :thumb458087760: :thumb435647352: DA Stamp - Anti-Hunting 01 by tppgraphics We are not Trophies stamp by AzureHowlShilach Dinos had feathers. by Pristichampsus evolution IS real by propertyofkat Biology and Evolution by i-stamp Zoology stamp by Nothofagus-obliqua Save the Rhinos by TipsyDigital Okapi Stamp by katcombs God's NOT dead stamp by Nilopher We can have our beliefs, too [STAMP] by The-Devious-Wolf FNAF fan stamp by dazza1008 :thumb475578001: The light side of life by TheSallySaga :thumb434664706: I like animals by Ottoenlotte Palaeontology Stamp by Kezzi-Rose I love Parasaurolophus by WishmasterAlchemist I Support Earth by pjuk I love Tyrannosaurus Rex by WishmasterAlchemist :thumb81003312: Bison. by Monster-Boar Bears. by Monster-Boar I love Okapis by WishmasterAlchemist I love Numbats by WishmasterAlchemist I love Irish Elk by WishmasterAlchemist Jurassic Park stamp by Blue-Fox :thumb426906812: OF COURSE stamp by omegaflash4 I LOVE COOKIES - Stamp by Freaky--Like--Vivi goku freeks stamp by dracostarhome Angel Stamp by Dbzbabe good pizza stamp by Dabombman Adopt Don't Shop Stamp by xXRoconzaXx
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:iconguidotonnarelli:
guidotonnarelli Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Wonderful drawings
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:iconkallytoonsstudios:
KallyToonsStudios Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Gotta love your drawings.
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:iconmalevouvenator:
malevouvenator Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2017
Man I love your art style! You have a new watcher!
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:iconmickeyrayrex:
MickeyRayRex Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks so much! :)
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:iconmalevouvenator:
malevouvenator Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2017
You are welcome:)
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:iconnanou-art:
Nanou-Art Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Oh wow, your work is absolutely amazing. :D (Big Grin)  Also I love your passion for animals (I took time to read the descriptionWink/Razz ). I myself have been drawing animals for a couple of years now and I'm finally going to study animal behaviour. What I'm hoping to do is work with lions and all kinds of wildlife in the future. Clap 

So glad I found your deviant Love Definitely gonna stick around !
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:iconmickeyrayrex:
MickeyRayRex Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! Glad I've caught another fan! :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconbobbyv94:
bobbyv94 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Do you have any pictures of megalodon?
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:iconmickeyrayrex:
MickeyRayRex Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just one where a megalodon is being eaten by a bunch of marine mammals. Not meant to be too serious, just for fun!
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:icontcr11050:
tcr11050 Featured By Owner May 7, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
May I be part of your Lost world group? Though I'm mostly going to add pictures relating to the book and the species that appeared through many of the adaptations.
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