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About Professional Artist Maija KaralaFemale/Finland Groups :iconprehistory-alive: Prehistory-Alive
Bringing prehistory back to life
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Deviant for 11 Years
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Waterbirds, Not Waterproof by Eurwentala Waterbirds, Not Waterproof :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 158 19 Rat Body Language by Eurwentala Rat Body Language :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 225 42 Lights in the Deep by Eurwentala Lights in the Deep :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 353 30 Far From Home by Eurwentala Far From Home :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 271 44 Wild Horses 3 by Eurwentala Wild Horses 3 :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 765 29 Horse from the North by Eurwentala Horse from the North :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 224 30 Dreams of Eemian 2 by Eurwentala Dreams of Eemian 2 :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 355 15 Dreams of Eemian 1 by Eurwentala Dreams of Eemian 1 :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 291 20 Inside of a Perch by Eurwentala Inside of a Perch :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 213 23 Circles of Life by Eurwentala Circles of Life :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 189 12 Worlds within Worlds by Eurwentala Worlds within Worlds :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 122 13 A Wonder of Nature by Eurwentala A Wonder of Nature :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 149 48 Anatomy of the noble crayfish by Eurwentala Anatomy of the noble crayfish :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 171 13 The Walking Kangaroo by Eurwentala The Walking Kangaroo :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 426 22 Jewel of the Amazon by Eurwentala Jewel of the Amazon :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 219 27 Plateosaurus by Eurwentala Plateosaurus :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 434 17

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Waterbirds, Not Waterproof
Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) and anhingas (Anhingidae) are fascinating waterbirds, related to gannets and frigatebirds, and specialized in catching fish underwater. I illustrated these two - the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster) for the children's magazine Sieppo, published by Finnish Nature League.

It's often said anhingas and cormorants lack the preening gland other aquatic birds have over their tails. Lacking the waterproofing wax, their feathers are permeable to water. This is why they need to dry themselves between dives, with their wings spread characteristically in the way that can be used to identify these birds anywhere in the world.

The truth of the matter is, of course, much more complicated than that. The water repellant properties of bird feathers are a mix of gland secretions and the microstructure of the feathers themselves. Cormorants and anhingas do, in fact, have a preening gland, but they also face an extra challenge compared to most other waterbirds. They don't just sit on the water surface or make shallow dives, but swim underwater for tens of meters. Depth also has a role in getting feathers wet.

A study from 2014 concludes that cormorant feathers do get wet during deep dives, but they have such a microstructure that they also spontaneously "dewet" themselves the moment the bird emerges again. Spreading of the wings, the authors conclude, might help getting rid of water droplets trapped between the feathers, preventing the dewetting from happening. The technical explanation for this has a lot of words like "goniometric analysis" and "Cassie–Baxter composite state" and goes well over my understanding of liquid physics. You can check it out here:…
Rat Body Language
Rats might be small, but they have big personalities and expressive faces - and are often emotional to the point of overly dramatic. This guide is based on my personal experience as well as scientific research. Our males Mursu, Hoppu and Rölli acted as models.

This piece is also for sale in our Society6 print store:…
Lights in the Deep
The deep seas are home to some absolutely amazing creatures. Among my favourites are the dragonfishes (Stomiidae). Perhaps the most well known of the group is Malacosteus niger, or the stoplight loosejaw (left). As the name suggests, the fish has a red bioluminescent organ under its eye. This is pretty odd, since red light is filtered away by water and basically does not exist in the deep: most deep sea animals can't see red at all, and some of them are bright red as a camouflage - it's the same as being black.

However, the stoplight loosejaw has a red light AND can see red, thanks to a photopigment that is derived from chlorophyll - which is an oddity as well, collected from sinking dead algae by the crustaceans this animal eats. How exactly it manages to catch smallish crustaceans with such a jaw structure, nobody knows. However, we do know how it finds them: with a private flashlight nobody else can see!

The other fish is a related species, Pachystomias microdon or the smalltooth dragonfish. It has an even more complex assortment of lights on it than the stoplight loosejaw. I have no idea what they're all used for.

This was my first attempt at using Procreate on iPad for colouring. Turned out ok, I think.
Hi everyone!

I finished the third part of my Zoology for Paleoartists blog posts. While the last two were concerned on which colours are possible in non-avian dinosaurs, this one discusses what kind of colours are ecologically plausible - that is, how evolution shapes animal colour. The needs to camouflage, impress mates or warn off predators are different for each species, producing the incredible diversity of colours and patterns in the animal kingdom.

Includes original artwork!


Eurwentala's Profile Picture
Maija Karala
Artist | Professional
A biology jack of all trades. I illustrate, blog, write and teach.


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Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2018
Do you have time to answer a few speculative questions?
JeanleFrancois Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
I like very much your art :D (Big Grin) 
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MutantEnjin Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2018   Artist
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quillsandchimes Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
very cool gallery, earned a new watcher c: its pretty much science and art coming together and i like that a lot c: keep up the great work
Alithographica Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2018  Professional
Thanks for the watch! I've been enjoying your work! c:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2018  Professional
Thanks! I'm enjoying yours now I finally found it. Such a nice way to popularize science!
Czepeku Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2018
Absolutely inspiring gallery, you definitely have an eye of appreciation for nature. Keep up your good work!
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