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PERMIAN EXTINCTION

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By SharkeyTrike   |   Watch
Published: May 14, 2012
© 2012 - 2020 SharkeyTrike
Mixed media (Pantone markers, gouache, pastels), February 2004. Weldon Owen.

For Australian publisher Weldon Owen, this illustration is a 'California Split' shot. Helicoprion - the famous 'whorl-toothed' shark - dominates the sea life shown. This restoration is considerably different to the other one in my gallery, and follows the more traditional line now taken by most illustrators (Ray Troll, Richard Ellis).

The ray-like fish in the foreground is the Holocephalian, Menaspis. Fleeing the approach of the shark, it is stirring up a field of Crinoids and several of the last known trilobite, Proetida. A trio of the genus Palagoniscum are also darting near.

On shore, amidst a dying forest of acaucaurians and conifers, a pair of the carnivorous therapsids Inostrancevia and attacking a herd of Scutosaurs on the beach.

I was following the model that the Permian extinction was caused by huge temperature rises as a result of methane gas build-up. This also explains the lurid colours, whilst the therapsids on the beach are lit by a nearby forest fire.

I wanted to give the whole image an almost hellish appearance.
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Comments26
anonymous's avatar
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JohnMollison's avatar
JohnMollisonProfessional Digital Artist
Terrific piece...how you got "terror" in the look of that Helicoprion is really clever skill...thank you!
UncleBourbons's avatar
AMAZING helicoprion!! So badass
RedDiamond28's avatar
RedDiamond28Hobbyist
And jellyfish survived as if nothing happened...
mixtix-freeman's avatar
I really love your illustrations, they are full of life and emotion!
SharkeyTrike's avatar
SharkeyTrikeProfessional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
acepredator's avatar
Two apex predators, one mass extinction, one would die, one survives, but a new empire is ready to emerge.
Prehistoric-Lover76's avatar
Prehistoric-Lover76Hobbyist Artist
The reign of the dinosaurs.
justin5578's avatar
I love you work.  Really amazing. 
Urceola's avatar
UrceolaHobbyist Digital Artist
This is a huge success! It DOES have a hellish appearance, all the more hellish for depicting how it probably looked. Good job.
Viergacht's avatar
ViergachtProfessional General Artist
Great stuff! It looks like a movie poster.
SharkeyTrike's avatar
SharkeyTrikeProfessional Traditional Artist
they are definitely one of those species I'd love to see in the flesh!
MondoArt's avatar
MondoArtHobbyist General Artist
whorl toothed shark lived in that harsh era? awesome!
mortalshinobi's avatar
still can't imagine an animal with that type of mouth existed. but until more of it is found i guess it's a simple guess of how it could have looked.
and extradorinary work on all these.
mishkuu's avatar
mishkuuHobbyist Photographer
another amazing piece
TansyEngland's avatar
TansyEnglandStudent Traditional Artist
I've been doing some swimming lately in a pool, and as I'm doing laps I look at the interface between the water and the air - the top layer of the pool and I've thought often that it is beautiful and I'd like to paint it (if I could), and you have captured it wonderfully here. I love it.
Eurwentala's avatar
EurwentalaProfessional
Simply wonderful work. I love the light and the feeling that the world's ending, as it almost did.
Saberrex's avatar
SaberrexHobbyist General Artist
Wonderful. i rarely see extinctions in artwork these days. i love the helicoprion. they definitely need to find a complete specimen of it so we can see what it looks like.
Gogosardina's avatar
GogosardinaProfessional Traditional Artist
Oh wow this brings back memories! Believe it or not, I wrote the text accompanying this image (along with most of the rest of the prehistoric life chapter of the Allaby Children's Encyclopedia of Earth). Hands down my favourite image in the chapter - pity you couldn't do all of them.
SharkeyTrike's avatar
SharkeyTrikeProfessional Traditional Artist
Thanks very much! That was a great book and I would love to have done more! As I recall the K/T extinction one was not up the standards I'd have hoped for...
Gogosardina's avatar
GogosardinaProfessional Traditional Artist
Yes, the all important dinosaur spreads were, to be diplomatic... somewhat below par.
leucasaurio's avatar
leucasaurioHobbyist General Artist
deluxe
TitanoRex's avatar
Hey I remember seeing this in a book and thinking to myself ,this is the most radical depiction of a helicoprion I've ever seen
Mindslave24-7's avatar
Mindslave24-7Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, what is the correct version of Helicoprion?
I wish they'd find a fine-grained fossil to solve it.

Wonderful illustration!
:w00t:
anonymous's avatar
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