These images depict reconstructions of various fossilized plants and animals, most of which are are long extinct and stem from the Mesozoic era. Please scroll downwards to see all the selections in this subsection.
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 left side detail of the Pleistocene era Florida Gulf Coast Marine mural prepared for the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. Amongst the “chief vertebrate actors” are aManatee (Trichechus manatees), a Goliath Grouper(Epinephalus itajara), aBarracuda (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.). A Great White Shark is seen in the distance. Invertebrates include corals, crabs, silver dollars, clams, oysters, and marine snails.
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.
Sarcosuchus, a Giant African crocodile attacking a hadrosaur.
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.
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 hemphillensisleaps forward, seemingly out of the picture plane. Behind her, the tri-antlered male Pediomeryx hemphillensisleaps upwards crossing 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 calve 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 SlothThinobadistes 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 incline 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
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.
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 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 amidst 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.
Extant Neotropical habitat groups
This index page is devoted to the depiction of complex habitat groups in the Neotropical realm (New World). Much of the subject matter relates to specific botanical specialties and floral family group interests of the Curators from the Institute of Systematic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden. Respective pollinators or seed dispersers of featured plants are also portrayed, when known. Please scroll downwards to see additional examples in this subsection.
Cacao growing under cabruca agroforestry system mural format
Cacao growing under the cabruca agroforestry system in a remnant Atlantic Forest experimental preserve in Brazil. This is the version published as the cover art of World Watch magazine 2001. A number of endangered plants and animals, such as the Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) and the Pink-legged Graveteiro(Acrobatornis fonsecai) have found refuge in these forests).
Red-rumped Agouti and an opened Brazil nut fruit
A Red-jumped Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) feeding upon a Brazil nut fruit (Bertholletia excelsa). Agoutis are the only mammal (other than man), which can open a woody Brazil nut fruit and access the seeds. They also spread them within the forest and act as “accidental” dispersers by stashing far more seeds in caches that are frequently unconsumed.
Illustration depicting the montane subtropical deciduous forest in a gorge near Amboró National Park, as the peaks of the Andes give way to vast plains that form a barrier abutting the lowland moist tropical forests of the huge Amazon Basin farther to the East. Species depicted: Ceiba boliviana (Bombacaceae), Helicteres lhotskyana (Sterculiaceae), Paspalum stellatum (Poaceae), Tillandsia samaipatensis (Bromeliaceae), Gallesia integrifolia (Phytolaccaceae), Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), Red-fronted macaw(Ara rubrogenys), and Vigna caracalla (Fabaceae). Copyright M. Rothman 2002
The image depicts the significant relationship between the Andean Wax Palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), the National Tree of Columbia, and the highly endangered Yellow-eared Parrot(Ognorhynchus icterotis). The bird depends on the tree for nesting sites, and food. However, extensive cutting of the trees had resulted in the near extinction of the parrot, whose numbers plunged to under 100 individuals. In recent years through efforts of the Columbian conservation organization, Fundacion ProAves, the population has risen ten fold.
This large work, measuring 48" V. by 72" H., depicts a pack of neotropical Bushdogs(Speothos venaticus)crossing the St. Eloi Creek in French Guiana. They are widespread throughout much of South America in forest and savannah settings but at a very low population density. Bushdogs are Canids but not in genus Canus. They are highly social and share parental responsibilities amongst a close knit group. They can hunt on land for prey like agoutis and capybara and underwater for turtles.Other colloquial names are Boshond, Cachorro-do-mata, pero de monte, bushdagoe, zorro vinagre, Chocó, Chien de forêt, ヤブイヌ, Yabu inu, and Waldhund.
Cycad pollination syndrome: Illustration depicting the recently described pollination mechanism of the Cycad Zamia furfuracea, by a Snout Weevil (Rhopalotria mollis), in the species rich region of Veracruz, Mexico. The Weevil is shown, variously, in flight (magnified), mating upon a Zamia cone, and depositing eggs in another cone. Other Cycad species are also present, including Ceratozamia latifolia (orange foliage) and the arborescent Dioon spinulosum. An adult and some caterpillars of the Cycad-dependent blue hairstreak butterfly (Eumaeus toxea) are also depicted upon the Zamia leaflets.
Extant Pacific and Northern Hemisphere Habitats
Paintings displayed here represent habitat groups developed upon specific sites in the Northern Hemisphere plus Australasia, Hawaii and the Mediterranean, but excluding the Neotropics. Please scroll downwards to see all the samples in this subsection.
This habitat group depicts the fauna and flora of the Four Corners Region of the American Southwest. The broadleaf trees are called Mountain Mahogany(Cercocarpus ledifolius var. intermontanus) and its flowers are shown (right side) being pollinated by metallic green Sweat-bees(Agaostemon tetanus). ABlack-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alejandri) hovers (at left) near the bright red flowers of a Penstemon eatonii. The yellow flowers at the lower right are called Cleomella palmeriana.
This is a depiction of the Pu’u kukui montanehabitat group on the island of Maui. The bog site is home to numerous threatened endemic species of Hawaiian plants and animals. The recently extinct Bishop's ʻōʻō is shown perched upon a branch of a Metrosideros polymorpha var. pseudorugosa (an endemic dwarf type of the ʻōhiʻa lehua). A number of Lobellia species are also found there.
Samoan Toothed-billed pigeon habitat group
The Samoan Toothed-billed pigeon is the critically endangered closest living relative of the fabled Dodo. The Samoan tooth-billed pigeon or “Little Dodo of Samoa” has the scientific name of Didunculus strigirostris or Manumea in the Samoan language. It is also the national bird of Samoa but its future is in jeopardy with likely less than 200 individuals still surviving in forests which are threatened both by logging and the depredations of Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans). Frantic efforts are being made by the Samoans to preserve the Manumea.
Children's Book series and STEM samples
This gallery displays examples of artwork ranging from content produced for a cadre of young readers in grammar school, through middle school biology topics and STEM foundation courses. Please scroll downwards to see all the samples.
A Great Grey Owl(Strix nebulas) is shown flying from its perch in a Black Spruce (Picea mariana). Illustration prepared for the “Great North Woods” ISBN 978—1-56846-275-2. (Creative Editions).
A lake in the boreal forest near the US/Canadian border. A Northern Gar appears at left, a Bullhead catfish is in the mud near center bottom, and a Walleye is at right. Illustration prepared for the “Great North Woods”ISBN 978—1-56846-275-2. (Creative Editions).
California Sea Otter(Enhydra lutris) floating in a Giant Kelp Bed. Illustration from “Sea Elf” , Wm. Morrow Jr. Books, “Just for a Day Series”. ISBN 0-688-10060-0. (Also published in French as “Le Lutin Des Mers” ISBN 2 211 03313 X).
A Purple Pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea) growing in an acidic bog in the Boreal Forest. Illustration prepared for the “Great North Woods” ISBN 978—1-56846-275-2. (Creative Editions).
This is an internal illustration for“Tyrannosaurus Time”. ISBN 0-688-13682-6. Here a T. rex is crossing a small river in Montana during the late Cretaceous Era. Basal avians called Enantiornithines are shown in the foreground. One Enantornithine is depicted with a captured amphibian in its mouth.
This was a mockup cover illustration prepared for the Wm. Morrow Just For A Day Series title “White Bear, Ice Bear” (written by Joanne Ryder).
Illustrations for Magazines and the Press
The botanical illustrations in this subsection depict paintings of the Black Walnut tree and Coffee plant cultivation for Kitchen Gardens magazine. Three other illustrations portray the Whale Fall Decomposition cycle through a series of images depicting the three recognized stages in the process. Hagfish, Greenland Sharks, benthic crabs, polychaete worms, and bacteria all contribute to the the “recycling” of entire whale carcasses on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The Cetacean artwork was prepared for Natural History Magazine.
Rear cover illustration a Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) for Kitchen Gardens Magazine (acrylic emulsion paints).
Whale Fall Decomposition Cycle Stage 1 prepared for Natural History Magazine 1999. Amphipods, Hagfish, Crabs, and a Greenland Shark are visible consuming the carcass.
rear cover illustration for Kitchen Garden Magazine of Shade Coffee agriculture (Coffee arabica). Painted in acrylic emulsion colors.
Digital fossil plant reconstructions from specimens at Cornell University
This is the first reconstruction of the earliest known member of the Nymphaeaceae family, Microvictoria svitkoana. It shares recognizable characters with the modern genus Victoria, which includes the giant Amazonian water lily. This newly described Cretaceous species, M. svitkoana, is vastly smaller in scale than its extant counterpart, V. amazonica.
Protofageous Turonian era (Cretaceous) digital flower reconstruction based upon Scanning Electron Micrographs of Dept. of Plant Biology, Cornell University specimen stubs 269 and 322.
Protofageous Turonian era (Cretaceous) digital flower reconstruction based upon Scanning Electron Micrographs of Dept. of Plant Biology, Cornell University specimen stubs 46, 324, and 740.