First up, the marine fauna!
|Tylosaurus © Asher Elbein|
|Clidastes © Asher Elbein|
|Elasmosaurus © Asher Elbein|
|Xiphactinus © Asher Elbein|
|Protosphyraena © Asher Elbein|
Now this one was a no-brainer. Protosphyraena was convergent with the modern sword fish and marlin, and I couldn't think of a good reason not to give it similar coloration. I added a faint splash of yellow along the midline to break up the counter shading. Protosphyraena was a medium sized predator, notable for both its short protruding teeth and its long, bladed fins. Fragments of this odd fish are known from the Mooreville Chalk region, although they aren't by any means common.
|Protostega © Asher Elbein|
Finally, the massive sea turtle Protostega. I was on deadline with this one and so the anatomy isn't really as tight as I would like (it was my first time drawing a turtle.) Protostega belongs to the same family as the more famous Archelon, and was only a little bit larger then the modern leatherback sea turtle. Slow moving and without scutes on its shell, it likely fed on slow moving jellyfish and shellfish. I gave it coloration broadly reminiscent of smaller sea turtles, since I'd already used the leatherback coloration for Elasmosaurus.
For the final cover, by editorial request, I gave the mosasaurs eel-like tails. I also included the goblin shark (which left an abundance of teeth littering the Mooreville and Demopolis) and Hadrodus, a five or six foot long fish shaped like a dinner plate.
|Oceans of Alabama © Asher Elbein|
Stay tuned for the second half of this exposition, the dinosaurs!