Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VIII: Paleofloras of the Jurassic

Vertebrates (and particularly tetrapods) are the main focus of many paleoartistic reconstruction. This is perfectly understandable: humans tend to care more about things that are more similar to them, with decreasing interest for more distant living beings (see here). Unfortunately, given the different preservation potentials of the two groups, vertebrate localities are usually devoid ofContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VIII: Paleofloras of the Jurassic”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VII: Aquatic Cretaceous angiosperms

In the previous post about early angiosperms, I discussed about many groups that are strongly underrepresented in paleoartistic reconstructions. For this second post on Early Cretaceous flowering plants, we will look at another group of angiosperms that were quite widespread at that time, namely water plants. Land plants evolved to occupy aquatic environments many timesContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VII: Aquatic Cretaceous angiosperms”

A day in the Cretaceous of Patagonia

For today’s post, I want to show you an astounding piece of art I commissioned to Ida Kalsta, an extraordinary illustrator and artist. This represents an environment from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian, ~116 millions of years ago) of Patagonia, in particular the possible environment of the Ticoa harrisii fossiliferous layer in the Anfiteatro de TicóContinue reading “A day in the Cretaceous of Patagonia”

Forgotten formations: Anfiteatro de Ticó.

While doing some doomscrolling on Twitter, I came across this absolutely spectacular reconstruction of the Triassic Fremouw Formation by Liam Elward. The main focus of the piece are a couple of Lystrosaurus, but the attention to the flora of this formation is stunning. Many plants are known from the Fremouw formation, with many having beenContinue reading “Forgotten formations: Anfiteatro de Ticó.”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VI: paleoart history and the Potomac Group

For this new post, I want to share a piece of paleoartistic history with you. This comes thanks to from James Doyle, a palaeobotanist with a long history of research in the Early Cretaceous and the origin of the angiosperms, who is now an emeritus at the University of California, Davis. In the 1970s, JimContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists VI: paleoart history and the Potomac Group”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists V: Early Angiosperms

Angiosperms in paleoart, especially in the Early Cretaceous, are often limited to familiar forms such as Nymphaeaceae (waterlilies) or magnolias. Although there is evidence of both groups in the Early Cretaceous fossil record, other groups of angiosperms were probably much more abundant across a range of environments during that period. The main example are Chloranthaceae,Continue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists V: Early Angiosperms”

How to represent uncertainty in phylogenies: RoguePlots to the rescue!

In my short research career I have become more and more intersted in how to appropriately represent uncertainty in phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic trees based on morphology are often represented as a single (strict or majority) consensus tree, sometimes with branches labelled with branch support (bootstrap/jackknife percentages or ‘Decay index’). However, in many cases this formContinue reading “How to represent uncertainty in phylogenies: RoguePlots to the rescue!”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists IV: Mesozoic Seed Ferns

Another element which is often not represented in paleoart are the Mesozoic “seed ferns”. This is an umbrella term for plants with different affinities united by the fact that they were seed plants with fern-like, often pinnate leaves. Though ‘seed fern’ groups were rather abundant in the Paleozoic, quite a few grew among the MesozoicContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists IV: Mesozoic Seed Ferns”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists III: Fossil Gnetales

Here is the third part of my Paleobotany for Paleoartists series, dedicated to a less well-known group that was however very successful during the Early Cretaceous: the Gnetales. Extant Gnetales are comprised of three highly distinc genera, namely Ephedra, Gnetum, and Welwtischia. This last species is probably the most well known, mostly because of itsContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists III: Fossil Gnetales”

Palaeobotany for Paleoartists II: Fossil Ginkgoales

Given the relative intests in my post on the paleaortistic representation of the fossil Cycadales, I have decided to write an extremely small post about the paleoartistic representation of another fan favourite: Ginkgo and its fossil relatives. Though many beautiful representations exist of this charismatic tree and some of its fossil relatives (helped by theirContinue reading “Palaeobotany for Paleoartists II: Fossil Ginkgoales”