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Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar


It's flood in a North African estuarium. The water is at it highest and the sand has sunk back to the bottom after being propelled by the current. We get quite some meters of clear view during diving. 
We're at the outgrowths of the mangroves that are located a stone's throw away. They spread out over the rest of the estuarium that's more located inwards and all of its channels and rivers. They house a vaste amount of organisms ranging from small plants to fish bigger than cars and crocodilians that are even larger. This is no surprise since mangroves are the perfect place where young fish can grow and seek for protection. It's this that lures in the predators that come here to feed, maybe even to bear their own young themselves. 
It's here at the outgrowths a huge fish finds itself searching for food: a Retodus tuberculatus, a lungfish of about 3,5 meters long. It's heading for the mangroves where it can eat whatever it can find. 

Suddenly a huge shape comes out of the outgrowths, shooting towards the lungfish. The fish turns around in an instant in an attempt to escape.
The predator is a huge Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. He's been patrolling the mangroves' border since flood has settled and was on its way to enter one of the channels in search for prey. Luckily for him he found it easier then expected. The large theropod runs over the bottom with incredible speed and agility. Its sail prevents it from rolling over during sharp turns, the sensory organs on its snout and the clear view give the lungfish no chances of escape. 

Punting is a way of underwater locomotion we can see in several nowaday's animals such as hippos, crocodiles and tapirs for example. 
Here I gave our most discussed large theropod the same way of moving, together with a thick skin to aid in negative buoyancy.
This is based on Duane Nash's blog posts about Spinosaurus where he describes the dinosaur as an animal that makes sense in its environment with the weird proportions Ibrahim et al. gave it in their 2014 paper.
You can read more about it on his blog in the following posts here:………

In short you just end up with an awesome, mostly aquatic, short-legged, underwater running, thick-skinned theropod that wrestles with giant fish and blocks entire channels with its body.
Let's see how many fanboys will get triggered...

Animals depicted: 

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Retodus tuberculatus
Stomatosuchus inermis (juvenile)
Cladocyclus pankowskii
Asteracanthus aegyptiacus
Image details
Image size
3469x2499px 3.63 MB
MG5200 series
© 2016 - 2021 Dontknowwhattodraw94
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TuxedoSuchomimus's avatar

Teach me your ways.

TuxedoSuchomimus's avatar
TuxedoSuchomimus's avatar

I uploaded my first Deviation today! It's not as good as your art, but none of us were born as masters as I like to say.

Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar

It's more than decent enough as a starter. Keep practising and in a few years time you'll notice the progress yourself :)

TuxedoSuchomimus's avatar

Your praise is music to my ears.

kumarkiranb356's avatar gorgeous!! Your Spinosaurus in its natural habitat looks really awesome to see! Especially with all the contemporary fish species around!
kumarkiranb356's avatar
You’re very welcome. I actually love your paleoart just for how richly detailed it looks, and you should thank me for the many faves I’ve given for some of your art too!
DSU42's avatar
This picture is absolutely beautiful! One of the best Spino pics I've ever seen. The colors, the details, the designs. Utterly marvelous! :D
DSU42's avatar
You're welcome! :D
BlackCometCometh's avatar
Funny enough with the new paper release saying the Spinosaurus couldn't swim or dive, Punting is the most likly mode of locomotion the Spinosaurus uses to move around.
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
True, though I do have some doubt about the claims they made. Their model lacks the barrel torso from Ibrahim's 2014 Spino for example and the arms are rather small. 
Interesting, I’ve also learn a bit from the comment section. Which I find really interesting, thank you for this.
Paravesfeathers's avatar
It looks very animal like, which is what these animals really were, great work sir!
TPCKRULEZ's avatar
why his arm is tiny her? 
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
It doesn't look smaller than it should be to me: phenomena.nationalgeographic.c…
9Weegee's avatar
Why did ditto transform into a car sized fish in this piece?
awesomeelephant's avatar
This is completely separate from the colors on it, but I've been hearing that Spinosaurus is a quadruped and others say new evidence suggests that its back to a biped. Which one is it? Is it plausible that it could somehow be both? Like a Hadrosaur?
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
The quadruped idea is proposed by the authors of the new study from 2014 that also published the whole short leg thing. Their study found that Spinosaurus was too front heavy because of it's long torso and short limbs to still keep balance on two and that the animal had to walk on its knuckles. (theropod arms can't pronate so the animal couldn't rest on the palm of its hands)
The criticism on this (and basically everyone agrees with that afaik so so do I) is that theropod arms aren't made for supporting the weight of the animal: quadrupedal animals show special adaptations for this together with the shoulder blades. Theropods would decapitate themselves internally with their shoulder blades if they tried to support their weight or walk on their arms. From Spinosaurus we have no arm material except for one phallange and it doesn't show any special adaptations. 
For the balance thing palaeontologist Andrea Cau simply proposed that the animal would elevate its neck and possibly raise its back in a diagonal pose instead of horizontal, using its tail a bit in a sort of tripodal stance: some tail vertebrae show some similar structures to sauropods who could support themselves with their tail while on their hind legs.
This way the animal could simply walk on its hindlegs without falling forward.

There's a problem in this however as adressed in the links in my description (the third one): Spinosaurus' tibia shows a surprisingly large attachment area for the caudofemoralis muscle (the muscle that pulls the leg back during walking, it's what pushed the animal forward) but the musculature and skeletal structure for supporting the animal in a vertical way (standing, walking etc.) is diminished which means the animal couldn't or was bad at standing on its hind legs. That it has huge muscles for pushing itself forward however means it was at least doing something. Nash, the author of the links, proposes that Spinosaurus underwater could've ran over the bottom like a hippo to chase prey instead of swimming (a study on this showed that it swam slow which is weird for something that chased fish to survive) and on land did some kind of belly crawling instead of a bipedal or quadrupedal pose because this is advantageous on the muddy terrain around the rivers, estuaries and coasts it inhabited. On its belly it prevented itself from sinking deep into the mud because it spreads out its weight over a larger surface, crocodiles do this too for example. Going from this it probably lived similar to a crocodile or seal and never came on totally dry land (far away from water, I mean by that). 

So in short no quadruped! And possibly not even a biped either, but quadruped is definitely wrong.
awesomeelephant's avatar
definitely a lot to take in but that does make a lot of sense. 
awesomeelephant's avatar
So I want to learn new coloring and drawing strategies and I feel like you can help me with this. How did you get the water shine to look so realistic? I would really like to know and hone this technique myself.
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