WOOHOO! After nearly a month of working on and off, it's finally done. Here is the Dashanpu scene (also known as "The Impossible miniature") in all its phenomenal, stunning presence. No detail overlooked.... like a J. R. R. Tolkien novel, or a Gogol short story, or even perhaps a Rameau harpsichord suite!
denizens of a lively Dashanpu Quarry.
Okay so perhaps I exaggerate just a tiny slight little bit. But rarely (or perhaps never) have I seen someone cram this much detail and just flat-out stuff going on into a single 8x11 sheet! Challenging? That's an understatement. I didn't want to put this much detail at first, but then I thought, back in March my Styracosaurus herd scene set the bar pretty high, so I had to at least do something comparable for my live blogging... especially now that I have much better paper to work with. So here's the full Dashanpu quarry scene with those real-life dragons, "Omeisaurus" tianfuensis and Shunosaurus lii - and their live surroundings as they would have appeared in the Middle Jurassic, with monkey-puzzle trees, reflections in the water, and shiploads of other details that would take hours to discuss, though they're easy to spot here. Enjoy basking in the glory...
And yes - there is indeed a crocodile.
Dashanpu quarry is mostly lake sediment, indicating that there was a large inland lake there in the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian-Callovian epochs) fed by several rivers, which washed the remains of dead dinosaurs into the lake along with tons of sediment over the millennia. The dinosaurs were certainly not water-dwellers - their corpses simply got thrown in there by rivers and perhaps floods, and those that didn't were not preserved. There are also crocodile and turtle remains, and these were obviously native to the lake.
Here, the dinosaurs are feasting near shallow, seasonally dry streams near the start of the wet season, on the edge of the lake. The first rains of the wet season flooded the area days before and choked the streams with silt and sandbars. It's not known exactly why "Omeisaurus" tianfuensis evolved such crazy long necks so rapidly, while Shunosaurus lii kept them short like the old cetiosaurid body plan (apparently as if there was never a brachiosaur-style middle ground for Chinese sauropod neck proportions!) However, the difference in feeding ranges which allowed the two to coexist without competing for the same food, is obvious.
* P.S. - I'm thinking of doing a big group reconstruction of all the known "Omeisaurus" species to show that they are probably separate genera that may have next to nothing in common with the type specimen. It's just an idea for now, though I do have other sauropod projects actually in the works.