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Evolution of Proboscidea

Evolution of Proboscidea. Pencil artworks and digital editing, 2010. Made for Geology and Paleontology department, Sofia University "St. Climent Ohridski".

Artworks by Vladimir Nikolov.
Editing and digital work by Docho Dochev.

Phylogeny after Shoshani (2002). Proboscidea (Elephants). There are some minor modifications of the original diagram because of some recently found species that change the understanding of the evolution of Order Proboscidea.

The missing images were taken from papers or encyclopedias, so I decided to remove them and leave only the original works made by me.

I want to say to everyone who is interested in Order Proboscidea that this image is really simplified depiction of order's phylogeny. Please do not look for tiny details and strong accuracy regarding the different lineages and their origin. This poster is made mainly to serve as an easy way to picture the evolution of this group in front of university students facing for first time the problems and subjects of paleontology.

Although this is not completely our own original work we have put a lot of time and efforts into it, so please leave/give some credit, if you're going to use this image.
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© 2010 - 2021 T-PEKC
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IvanSV's avatar
Очень хорошее гениалогическое древо хоботных!

Нет ли в планах создать нечто подобное по предкам носорогов?
T-PEKC's avatar
Sorry but I don't speak Russian, thus although I understand what you have written I'll reply in English.

Thank you for the kind words! To the current moments I don't have plans of making similar poster for the evolution rhinoceroses. I'm having idea about one for stegosaurs though.
IvanSV's avatar
idea about stegosaurs filogeny is interestig. I`ll waiting for it. Thanks for Your works and sorry for my wrong English
T-PEKC's avatar
Thank you and don't worry about your English. My English is far from perfect too. :)
SameerPrehistorica's avatar
very nice...I love Elpehants
fmoscuro's avatar
T-PEKC's avatar
JWArtwork's avatar
That looks cool! What kind of creatures were Eritherium and Numidotherium? Do you have some more information on them?
Kakarotho's avatar
Lately, I've been reading about the evolution of Proboscidea and to now come across your familytree here is kinda cool. The Gomphotheres amaze me, I wonder how they ate with that long face lol. Fascinating creatures.. nice job!
T-PEKC's avatar
Thank you! :)

Yeah, Gomphotheres are indeed amazing animals. Seeing how successful they were I bet they had no problems with eating whatever type of vegetation they ate. :lol: Joking aside, I think they were more browsers than grazers (though I'm not sure. I have to read some info on this subject). I guess it wasn't so hard for them to use their strange long heads to eat leafs from the surrounding trees.

Agree with you about that the proboscids are fascinating creatures.
Bumsy's avatar
Great chart! The platybelodon is creepy. O.o
T-PEKC's avatar
Thank you!

I really enjoyed drawing Platybelodon. It's one really cool looking animal. :)
Jaldithas's avatar
i miss Cuvieronius and other SA probosceans which propably lived as far as 6000 BC
T-PEKC's avatar
Well, for this poster I was working with already created diagram. All I needed to do was to make reconstructions of the animals which were included in the diagram. South American proboscids have never been a subject of discussion for this project. Of course that doesn't mean they aren't interesting animals which desrve more attention. :)
Deinowilly's avatar
Wonderful work and wonderful idea!! I really love this. Congratulations =D
T-PEKC's avatar
sethness's avatar
I'd very much like to see notes about your sketching technique / process
T-PEKC's avatar
Notes? I don't think there is something to write about my technique. It's hard to explain the whole artistic process at least for me. I just don't think very much what I'm doing or how I draw the details while I'm drawing. Probably the most specific thing for my work is that I don't do many sketches as good artists do. I've never liked this part of the process 'cuz I consider it pretty much waste of time. But that's a mistake, so try to avoid it and always do as much sketches as possible. Interesting fact is that I always draw from right to left because I'm left handed. That's why lately all of my works are oriented in direction from right to left. If I go the other way I usually daub the graphite all over the paper and as you may expect this ruins the quality of the work. I know it's interesting to know how specific artists do their works but in my case I just can't explain it. I just draw. :)
sethness's avatar
Well, you shared the interesting detail that you're left handed, and draw right-to-left. ...There's so much more you could say, though. For example, do you use only a #2 (HB) pencil, or do you use the light, hard and dark, soft pencils that art stores sell? Or charcoal pencils? After scanning, do you do a lot of clean-up and contrast-tweaking (like I do)? So you use any special Photoshop filter to separate the line art from the white background?

...Stuff like that makes interesting reading for beginners and fellow artists.
T-PEKC's avatar
I'm used to think that the way I'm drawing and the techniques I'm using are not very different from these of other artist, so I don't consider it worth to mention. Of course everyone has different style, so It's not right to think that everyone is like me. Please excuse me. :)

I draw mostly with B2 graphite pencil. I find HB and even B pencil uncomfortable to draw with. Of course this heavily depends of the artist's style. I know people who are able to achieve very good results using HB. For shadows and darker details I use B5. In my opinion the usage of B2 and B5 is the ultimate combination because you literally can draw whatever comes to your mind using only these pencils. I use hard eraser (rubber), mostly from the czech mark koh-i-noor. Other type of eraser I'm often using is "bread-rubber" (I have no idea how it's called in English). That's all for my pencil technique.

The only post-scanning work I'm doing is playing with the contrast and the brightness of the picture. Of course I try to remove the dots usually caused from dust particles on the scanner's glass.

Hope that this is more useful information for you. :)
sethness's avatar
I think the "bread-rubber" eraser you mentioned is called a "kneaded eraser". It's like soft grey or white clay.


Thanks, this was exactly the information I want about your technique and tools. :)
chid0's avatar
I think it is very well made, right choice of font and I like the dynamics of the uneven arrow branches of the phylogeny tree. really good work, I think you achieved exactly what you aimed for in terms of good overview and accessibility!
T-PEKC's avatar
Thank you very much for your comment! :) I'm glad to hear that you think we have achieved what we wanted with this poster.
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