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February 15, 2012
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The odd one out by JWArtwork The odd one out by JWArtwork
A relatively old drawing, still from August 2011, which shows a Protosphargis in the middle of a group of Caproberyx and if you look carefully you can even spot the sillhouette of a shark in the upperleft corner. The image is unfortunately, due to its small size, a little pixellated. I'm, rather than with other old pictues, relatively pleased with this one.

Protosphargis is an ancient leatherbackturtle and closely related to the extant species. It was probably a little smaller, but for the rest very similar. I assume it too had the ridges, which are classic for the leatherback, which make it much more streamlined and faster than other turtles. As it lived in the Late-Cretaceous it might have needed to flee from mosasaurs and maybe large polycotylids, although no polycotylids have been found near the site where Protosphargis was uncovered, Verona, Italy. Plenty of both large and small mosasaurs have been found in Maastrichtian Europe, though. I'm not sure actually if protostegids too had those ridges. They might... It's funny to seen that there have no protostegids been found in Late-Cretaceous Europe, which is probably why primitive leatherbacks and other non-protostegid seaturtles such as Allopleuron and Glyptochelone were so abundant.

The yellow fish are Caproberyx, extinct relatives of squirrelfishes. As they have been found in many places, I assume they can be found in Maastrichtian Italy as well. I was not large, around 10-20 centimeters. I thought it survived the KT-extinction, but since I just see Wikipidia says it didn't I'm not so sure any more. I don't know exactly which species of shark is featured in the drawing, but I think it was something like Squalicorax, which is extremely commonly found in European strata from the Maastrichtian, so...

Comments, feedback, requests, ideas for other drawings, you name it, are always welcome. Now, I'll be searching for some other good drawing to upload in the future or maybe make a new one, so I hope you enjoy this one and regards!

P.S. First Protosphargis in DA!!! :D
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:iconkingovrats:
KingOvRats Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013   Traditional Artist
Day 3. I'm gaining fishes trust. they still didn't notice I'm a turtle.:D
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:rofl:
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tell me something about this Glyptochelone....is it contemporaneous with the Maastricht site? Maastricht is becoming a real favorite marine formation of mine, even more than the Western Interior Sea, simply because Mosasaurus hoffmanni was around :D
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, they were probably prey of Mosasaurus hoffmanni (Prognathodon Saturator was also around and first found here! ;)). It was a large turtle 2-2.5 meters in length, comparable to Allopleuron. A skull: [link] and a carapace: [link] .

In this last link you could also see Allopleuron and Platychelone. Allopleuron was also found in Maastricht and Platychelone in Visť, a town in Belgium which is within walking distance from Maastricht (like 10 minutes) and from the same time, so we can assume it also coexisted with Mosasaurus hoffmanni and the other turtles.

The Maastricht site is remarkable for it's absence of tylosaurs, pterosaurs, ichthyodectiids and plesiosaurs. Other spectacular founds have also been done in Maastricht, though. We have Maastrichthydelphis, the Dutch opossum [link] and Betasuchus [link] and Plicatoscyllium, a small shark similar to the bamboo-shark: [link] . Furthermore we have also found fossils of the ichthyornithid and the hadrosaur Orthomerus (and possibly also Telmatosaurus) and possible remains from the gharial Thoracosaurus. I guess the most abundant fossil from the site are the tooth of Squalicorax, though. ;p

Are you planning to make drawings on cretaceous Maastricht? That'd be cool and I'd like to see them! :)
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well....:) you do know that I once did a rather blurry Mosasaurus diving into deep waters....and I do know about a certain set of animals I like a LOT, from Maastricht-Squalicorax, Plicatoscyllium, Caproberyx, Cretalamna,Scaphonorhynchus, Mosasaurus, Prognathodon, Plioplatecarpus (since it was common), Carinodens, some elasmosaurs, that ichthyornid, Allopleuron, Platychelone and maybe even Glyptochelone.... I suppose.....

It's really easy now to put all this together and get an almost composite image of what continental European fauna looked like in Maastrickhtian times (France, Romania and Hungary, Netherlands being primary fossil sites :)
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I do! :) But Caproberyx and elasmosaurs weren't found in Maastricht, were they:? Yes, I love the European fauna of the Late-Cretaceous! :D
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I also did forget about Thoracosaurus and Pachydiscus/Parapuzosia, but the elasmosaurs are being put into my mental picture simply because they;re so iconic.....and caproberyx....I thiought that, since it seems rather cosmopolitan, it can have a place in Europe too, right?
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, Thoracosaurus is my favorite prehistoric gharial! :D I might draw it some time!

I see, but the Maastricht site is actually noticable for the absence of those creatures. In the whole of Creataceous Europe they were very rare. (I believe they found a sole vertebra in Romania)

Yes, it is quite likely that they were in Europe as well, only according to Wikipedia they were already gone by the Maastrichtian. Therefore my drawing might not be accurate... :(
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So....no elasmosaurs EVER in the whole of Europe? Dang....
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:iconjwartwork:
JWArtwork Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I wasn't there 70 million years ago, so I can't know for sure, but for as far as I know they weren't around in Europe, at least not in great numbers. ;)

You could try Morocco or also Lebanon and the area around it. Spectacular finds of Maastrichtian marine fauna have been done there, though I doubt there were any elasmosaurs with it. I remember that from some million years earlier there were found polycotylid and leptocleidid remains, so... ;p

You could also take a look in the Paleobiology Database, if you're really desperate, but you might spend some time searching in that case! Good luck! :)
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