Reconstruction of an Eocoracias brachyptera roosting in a Staphylea germanica tree     This is a reconstruction of the plausibly, blue-hued, Eocene proto-roller,    Eocoracias brachyptera   . The illustration was influenced by studying the recent Babarović, Puttick, Zaher, et al paper "Characterization of melanosomes involved in the production of non-iridescent structural feather colours and their detection in the fossil record". Journal of The Royal Society: Interface,16 (155). 20180921. ISSN 1742-5689), I prepared a ventral/anterior view of the bird perched in a tree from the Messel formation called    Straphylea germanica   . I emphasized the syndactyl feet present in the associated fossil specimens. The principle blue color used in the painting was the recently synthesized furnace product called    YInMn Blue    (Pigment Blue 86).
 This is a reconstruction of the extinct Pleistocene era  North American Cheetah   (Miracinonyx)  chasing a  Pronghorn antelope   (Artilocarpa americana).  © M. Rothman 1997
   Repenomamus giganticus   (a gobiconodontid mammal) and   Cathayornis yandica   (an Enantiornithine avian),  are shown in a  Yixian habitat group reconstruction.  (Early Cretaceous, NE China). © M. Rothman 2019
  Pleistocene era Florida Gulf Coast  habitat reconstruction. This was a mural prepared for the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. Details are in the two images that follow immediately below.
  This is a    right side detail    of the    Pleistocene era Florida Gulf Coast Marine habitat mural    prepared for the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. The “chief vertebrate actors” on this side of the mural include the    Caribbean Monk Seal    (Monachus tropicalis), a    Hawksbill Sea Turtle    (Caretta caretta), and a school of    Mullet    (Mugil cephalus). Among the invertebrates in the sea grass meadow, the following mollusk species are present: Arcinella cornuta, Eupleura tampaensis, Hexaplex fulvescens, Fasciolaria okeechoensis, Liochlamys bulbosa, Turbinella hoerlei, and Strombus leidyi.
 This is a  left side detail  of the  Pleistocene era Florida Gulf Coast Marine mural  prepared for the University of Florida Museum of Natural History.  Among the  “chief vertebrate actors”  are a    Manatee   (Trichechus manatees),  a  Goliath Grouper   (Epinephalus itajara),  a    Barracuda   (Sphyraena barracuda) , a  Pelican   (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) , diving after a school of  Mullet   (Mugli cephalus) , a  Nurse Shark   (Ginglymostoma cirratum) , a  Stingray   (Dasyatis sp.) , a  Porcupine fish   (Diodon sp.) , and a  Skate   (Raja sp.) . Invertebrates include corals, crabs, silver dollars, clams, oysters, and marine snails.
 Illustration of the Tyner Farms Miocene era site in Northern Florida near the Suwannee River. The habitat is known for its mammalian megafauna including proboscideans, bone-eating canids, tusked artodactyls, and giant ground sloths. This mural is part of a permanent installation at the  University of Florida Museum of Natural History.  Details are described in the two images that follow immediately below.
   Sarcosuchus,   a Giant African crocodile attacking a hadrosaur.
 This image shows a more detailed view of the   left side   of Tyner farms Miocene habitat reconstruction. In the foreground, a small,  pronghorn-like  female antelope,   Pediomeryx hemphillensis   leaps forward, seemingly out of the picture plane. Behind her, the tri-antlered male   Pediomeryx hemphillensis     leaps upward crossing the edge of the limestone cliff face. The Miocene era horse   Dinohippus   is slightly to her right and in the immediate foreground is the large land tortoise   Hesperotestudo   feeding on Palmetto fruits. At middle distance on the left is the dog-like hyena   Borophagus pugnator.   In the background, a female  North American Rhino   (Aphelops mutilis)  watches as her calf flees the water when an  Alligator  ( Alligator mefferdi)   ,   holding a captured  Pediomeryx  in its jaws, swims in that direction.
 This is a more detailed image showing the   right side   of the Tyner farms Miocene era mural. A giant  Ground Sloth   Thinobadistes wetzeli)  is shown feeding upon a  Black Tupelo   (Nyssa)  at the center of the image and on the right side foreground, diminutive  Musk-deer   (Pseudoceras sp.),  are depicted feeding upon  Saw Palmetto  fruits ( Serena repens).  At left, in the background, a  Shovel-tusk Probiscidean   (Ambelodon britti)  drinks from a fresh water lake .  At left, in middle distance, an ancient horse  (Dinohippus sp.)  is ascending the inclined surface forming the of face of a limestone cliff edge.
 Male and female   Eoconfuciousornis zhengi   in level flight over a lacustrine habitat, Early Cretaceous , NE China. Cover illustration for   Vertebrata Palasiatica 57 (1) , January 2019 IVPP, China
 Cover illustrations for  Volumes 55  and  57  of   Vertebrata Palasiatica  , Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoAnthropology (IVPP), China. Illustrations prepared fro Dr. Jingmai K. O’Connor.
   New York Times   Science Section illustration depicting the three vertebrate groups which separately developed powered flight as examplesof  convergent evolution:  avians (Clade: Ornithurae,   Class : Aves) , pterodactyls (Clade:  Pterosauromorpha ), and bats  (Class:  Mammalia )
 This is a reconstruction of   Orienantius ritteri,   a basal avian (  Enantiornithine   )  from the Early Cretaceous of China.  It is believed to have had flying capabilities similar to living birds.   Orienantius ritteri   is shown near the end of a downstroke in level flight.
   Left side   of the  Jiufotang habitat reconstruction  with individuals representing the following extinct avian taxa:   Yanornis, Sapeornis, Confuciousornis , and  Longypteris .  Horsetail plants, called   Equisetites,   are prominent in the lower left edge of this image.
   Avimaia schweitzerae gen. et sp. nov,   1st color study of this colonial nesting Enantiornithine (Aves) basal avian. © M. Rothman 2018. (Prepared for Drs. A. Bailleul and J. K. O’Connor, et al at the IVPP, Beijing China).
   Iteravis huchzermeyeri   hunting crayfish underwater in a flooded riparian forest. An ornithuromorph (Aves: Ornithothoraces) from the Jehol Biota of Northeastern China. (Lower Cretaceous, Yixian Formation).  The avian on the left side is depicted using its webbed feet for propulsion and the individual on the right is scrambling through the branches of a inundated plant using the claws on its alula digits.
   Junornis houi     This is a reconstruction of the sparrow-sized ancient bird    Junornis houi    from the early Cretaceous era of Inner Mongolia.    Junornis houi    retained teeth in both its upper and lower jaws as well as wing claws (possibly used for assistance in climbing through tree branches). This avian is shown at the beginning of the upstroke in level flight with both the primary and secondary feathers (remiges) are numbered for clarity.
 Habitat reconstruction with the basal avian,   Junornis houi    depicted in flight and landing on a tree. Data from the recently described, strap-leaved Ginkgoid,   Umatolepis mongolensis   was used as the basis for reconstructing the tree. Early Cretaceous, Inner Mongolia.
 Reconstruction of an   Avimaia schweitzerae   in a colonial netting site with  Equisetites  and   Anomochloa  - related  plants   (Poaceae)   © M. Rothman 2018. Image published in  National Geographic  online 3-21-2019. The image depicts a lakeside habitat found in the  Lower Cretaceous Xiagou Formation  of approximately 115 mya. (The painting was prepared for Drs. A. Bailleul and J. K. O’Connor of the IVPP, Beijing).
 This painting depicts a possible symbiotic relationship between the largest known Cretaceous mammal  (Repenomamus giganticus)  and the basal avian  Eoenantiornis buhleri .  The birds, including both adults and extremely precocious juveniles, are shown assembling around the mammals and gleaning ticks and other arthropods from their fur.  Adult Repenomamus had an approximate length of 1 meter (tip of nose to tip of tail). The principle vegetation is a reconstruction of Baikalophyllum lobatum.
   Right side   of the  Jiufotang habitat reconstruction  with a   Jeholornis prima     feeding upon  Cycadioid (Bennettitalean) seeds . A Ginkgoid with mature fruit and yellowish leaves is the principle plant visible in this close up.
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