The Trilobites Have Landed!

Posted by Nima On Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7 comments

It's been way too long, Paleo-fans. But I've finished my trilobite piece ;)

Now I'm not strictly a trilobite fan. I'm more into extinct land vertebrates, mainly dinosaurs and synapsids. Not that I don't like trilobites - they're downright amazing. I just don't like drawing them. All those tedious segments and spines... and then you have to figure out speculative antennas since they usually don't get preserved! But this was definitely good practice in case I draw them again soon. And I learned a lot about the different families of trilobites and their radically different shapes - this is a Devonian scene, and in that period, trilobites reached their apex of weird and wacky forms. The hardest part is finding interesting species from a single time and place - you really have to do your homework since trilobites had so many species come and go across hundreds of millions of years.

Devonian Trilobites are primarily found in the fossil beds of Oklahoma and Morocco, which were shallow areas in the Devonian and hosted huge numbers and variety of trilobites. I picked Morocco as the setting, but related species of trilobites were found in both areas. I knew it would be really easy to smooth out the water "texture" with digital tools but I wanted to keep things simple for this one (I may do a digitally enhanced version in the future). So here we have the final scene, unedited and uncut.

See if you can locate the exotic trilobites Dicranurus monstrosus, Dicranurus hamatus, Erbenochile Erbeni, Koneprussia sp., Droptops armatus, Paralejurus sp., Ceratarges sp., Scabriscutellum sp., Walliserops trifurcatus, the gigantic Terataspis grandis, and of course the worldwide favorite, Phacops!

The two giant fish in the background are Titanichthys, a far less vicious (though equally large) cousin of Dunkleosteus. You also have a couple of primitive sharks here, and some ammonites and orthocones way back there.
P.S.                    <{((((:)     <= Unicode Trilobite.
Lol, I know it's tacky... I just had to attempt that!