This is my first and only completely new entry for the SummonEngh
You see here three Mistralazhdarcho alongside a waterfall and cave entrance. These animals are among a growing number of azhdarchids which were found with strange structures in and on top of their jaws, obviously used for food processing but how exactly isn't clear. Mistralazhdarcho was found in lake and river deposits together with a diverse flora and fauna. Matheronodon and Atsinganosaurus are probably the most prominent examples. Atsinganosaurus made it into this piece in form of a skeleton. This specimen probably fell into the cave opening years ago during the search for food and/or water. The environment as shown here isn't known from the Mistralazhdarcho locality, however these environments rarely seem to preserve well in the fossil record and we should expect that a fossil locality can't tell us everything about the habitats a species used to visit. Besides the three Mistralazhdarcho, which seem to be a an ambivalent mood, you will find a little squamate on the picture (only known from a jaw fragment) as well as two palms, plants that are well known from the Cretaceous of Europe and were proposed to be the food for animals like Matheronodon. The rest of the vegetation consists of small ferns and mosses, which grow well thanks to the constant water supply and high air humidity.
Why I chose this subject and composition you might ask? Well, in a way this is a comment on the rightful critique that paleoart often shows its subjects in flat, boring settings. Otherwise I wanted to experiment with color and light, that's one of the reasons why i gave the pterosaurs relatively plain coloration that nearly fuses with the background. This way the animals become more part of the painting instead of having the background just for the sake of having a background. A few people commented during the process that I should paint a carcass or dying animal into the hole. I thought so as well first, but then realized that this exactly what everybody else would do.
p.s. another detail that you can find frequently in my pictures: poop.
p.p.s. Besides being a entry for the contest this is also a teaser for the big paleoart book I'm working on.
The lights and colors are so well handled I love it ! I french and learning about this discovery made me really excited ! It's another piece of prehistoric biodiversity in Europe that we have the chance to know about ! I really like that small lizard in the corner btw. Keep up the awesome work !
Yessss ! Angeac-Charente is awesome, it's about an hour away from my house (: I have books about this... As far as news goes, it sounds like they found huge sauropods there... And I do mean huge ! We ave some nice paleoartists around here too and they're a great source of inspiration for my drawings.