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the Prehistoric Ocean: Illustrations of Dinosaurs

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Author Topic: the Prehistoric Ocean: Illustrations of Dinosaurs  (Read 9053 times)
Melody Stacker
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« on: April 26, 2008, 03:47:02 pm »



Mosasaur
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 03:49:24 pm »



Devonian Scene

http://www.search4dinosaurs.com/
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 03:51:22 pm »



http://www.oceansofkansas.com/varner.html
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 03:52:32 pm »



Here a large Tylosaurus is about to make lunch of a smaller mosasaur called Halisaurus sternbergi.  Like their modern relatives, the snakes, mosasaurs were capable of swallowing large prey whole because of the unique design of their skull and very flexible lower jaws.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 03:53:40 pm »



Although Hesperornis was a large and very successful marine bird, it was no match for something as large (and hungry) as a Tylosaurus.  This picture is loosely based on the discovery in South Dakota of a Tylosaurus with fossilized stomach contents that included a fish (Bananogmius), a smaller mosasaur (Clidastes) and a bird (Hesperornis).
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 03:55:24 pm »



Mosasaurs probably fed mostly on fish, although some varieties were specialized to the point of feeding on soft bodied squid or even clams.  Here a Platecarpus grabs an unlucky Enchodus.... the "Saber Toothed Herring" of the late Cretaceous seas.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 03:56:13 pm »



Here a polycotylid plesiosaur bites at the front paddle of another member of the same species.  Like many of other Dan's works, this picture was based on an actual fossil.  A polycotylid specimen found in South Dakota had a broken plesiosaur tooth embedded in the bones of   the paddle.  How it got there is conjectural, but Dan's painting shows what could have happened.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 03:58:53 pm »



A pod of Cryptoclidus plesiosaurs (late Jurassic, Europe) cruises near the surface in search of prey. These animals reached lengths of about 4 meters. Large numbers of slender, inter-meshing teeth in their jaws made them very efficient in catching small fish.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 04:00:10 pm »



A nothosaur (early to late Triassic) prowls the shallow sea for food.  These semi-marine lizards reached lengths of about 3 meters.   Their remains are found in many places around the world, including China, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands and North Africa. Instead of paddles, Nothosaurs had webs between their long toes.  See a picture of the cast of small Nothosaur skeleton here.

http://www.oceansofkansas.com/varner.html

http://www.search4dinosaurs.com/
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2008, 04:02:09 pm »



An early and very 'fish-like' crocodile (Geosaurus) swims in the shallow seas covering Germany in the Middle to Late Jurassic. Although not closely related to the ichthyosaurs,  the tails of member of the Metriorhynch family were adapted for swimming in the same way, even to the noticeable down bend in the posterior caudal vertebrae.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2008, 04:02:52 pm »



Placodus, a placodont from the early to middle Triassic of Europe grubs for clams and other shellfish in the mud of a near-shore sea bottom.  While placodonts fed in the ocean, they probably spent a large portion of their lives on land.
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2008, 07:27:53 pm »



NEW 2005 - Two very large elasmosaurs (Styxosaurus snowii) cross paths while feeding near the surface in the Western Interior Sea during the early Campanian. Plesiosaurs were rare during the deposition of the Smoky Hill Chalk, at least in part due to the presence of the giant ginsu shark, Cretoxyrhina mantelli.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2008, 07:29:39 pm »



NEW 2005 - A five-foot- long Hesperornis regalis swims over the top of a giant Protostega gigas turtle during the early Campanian. The arrival of these two species marked a major change in the fauna of the Western Interior Sea and were probably there as a result of world-wide changes in the Earth's climate.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2008, 07:30:52 pm »



Somewhere in the Western Interior Sea, a giant pliosaur (Brachauchenius lucasi) is about to make lunch out of a small turtle similar to Desmatochelys.  Brachauchenius was one of the last of the pliosaurs and made it's final appearance in Kansas during the deposition of the Fairport Chalk Member (middle Turonian) of the Carlile Shale. Varner painting courtesy of the Museum of Northern Arizona.
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Melody Stacker
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2008, 07:35:35 pm »



This picture has an interesting international connection... The painting was done by Dan Varner for the Natural History Museum of Maastricht in the Netherlands as a part of the celebration of the discovery of a large, fairly complete specimen of a new mosasaur species (Prognathodon saturator) in the ENCI limestone quarry outside of Maastricht. Many shark (Squalus) teeth were found in association with the remains, indicating that the carcass had probably been scavenged by sharks after death. I was able to visit the museum in May, 2004 for the First Mosasaur Meeting.  The photograph was made from the original painting at the Maastricht Museum.
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