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February 25, 2012
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Deep blue by JWArtwork Deep blue by JWArtwork
Well, here is an underwater scene from the Early-Triassic of Spitsbergen. It features Omphalosaurus, a primitive ichthyopterygian (probably), although this is a very speculative reconstruction. In this image I really did my best on the light, an the result is quite satisfying, to my thoughts. It is the first part of a series I'm planning on primitive marine reptiles.

Omphalosaurus was, just as most of the primitive ichthyopterygians, already quite adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. Although it was an ichthyopterygian, and thus probably a hupehsuchid, gripiid and ichthyosaur relative, it fulfilled the ecological niche of placodonts, which was apparently popular during the Triassic. Just like placodonts it had blunt and sphere-shaped teeth with which it probably cracked the shells of molluscs.

As most other primitive ichthyosaur-relatives were rarely larger than one meter, it is quite surprising estimates of the size of Omphalosaurus reach up to 2.8 meters. The fossils of Omphalosaurus weren't only found in Spitsbergen. In fact it seems to have been a relatively common animal as fossils have also been found in Nevada and Germany. This drawing features an Omphalosaurus-individual which reaches up to the surface to breathe, in a crystal clear deep blue lake in Early-Triassic Spitsbergen (although Omphalosaurus continued to live in the Middle-Triassic as well).

For this drawing I'd like to thank Matt Feifarek for the beautiful picture of the rocks. If you have any comments, feedback, requests or suggestions for other drawings, please don't hesitate to share them! Now, I wish you all a good day (24 hours ;)) and regards!
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
love the jaw markings here! Brilliant! =)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like it! :D
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I do! And a lot! =)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:worship:
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconlolzcatplz:
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:o... :p
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:iconpalaeorigamipete:
palaeorigamipete Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconburdplz:
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconjarryplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist
I like the colours of the head, to the distance it seems like a scary skull ;) And it remind how little we know about the first ichthyopterygians...
If I remember well, the last revision of ichthyosaurs of Maisch includes to Omphalosaurus in the group. :)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the compliment and the information! :D I appreciate it!
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