Friday, November 7, 2008

Image of the Day

Bahia Inglesa by ~Paleoartists on deviantART

This illustration was done for a project on the fauna hailing from the Late Miocene Bahía Inglesa bonebed, located in Chile's Atacama coast.

The animals featured here are, foreground to background:
Two fossil species of Spheniscus: Spheniscus urbinae, the penguin with the short hooked beak and two stripes on the chest, and Spheniscus megarhamphus, the penguin with the straight thick beak and mottled belly, with both species' color patterns based off extant penguins.
To the left, one can find a braying individual of an extinct species of the genus Pygoscelis and a pair of small penguins perhaps related to the Little Penguin, Eudyptula minor.
Further away there is a small group of Acrophoca seals, and beyond that, to the right, a primitive marine gharial eating its fill while a tern wheels over it. Also on the wing, one can see a few boobies of the genus Sula and perched on a volcanic boulder some Phalacrocorax cormorants. Wading along the surf is perhaps the strangest member of this fauna, Thalassocnus natans a ground sloth adapted to a marine amphibious lifestyle.

This coastal environment is set against the desertic volcanic interior as can be seen on the islands in the far background.

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