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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Archosauria: _Stomatosuchus_!

Stomatosuchus inermis: Unarmed Filter-Feeding Crocodile

What a pity Ernst Stromer’s poorly-known Eusuchian’s remains did not survive WWII, as it is one of the only known filter-feeding crocs. What material was known was a long skull, with a blunted snout (in a similar manner to alligator snouts), filled with hundreds of tiny teeth in the upper jaw and no teeth in the mandible. Assuming what is known about ratios between head length and body length for crocs is true for Stomatosuchus inermis, then Stomatosuchus grew to 12 meters (over 40 feet) in length.

The lower jaw suggests Stomatosuchus may have had a large throat pouch (perhaps like a pelican), useful for capturing, then filtering its prey from the water.

Stomatosuchus filters like an Egyptian: known from upper Cretaceous deposits in Egypt, this material was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid in 1944.

Media & Commentary:

What a pain oils on canvas board turned out to be. The background consisted of layers and layers of pigment washed with linseed oil, and this caused the whole of it to curl aggressively. The deflection caused by the oils made working on it not only annoying, but it was exacerbated by the fact that I was trying to accelerate drying time by placing it into the oven for short periods of time.

This was a mistake. I had to take it to a framing shop to flatten it, and then frame it to prevent it from curling even more.

Two and a half weeks were spent in total on this. And this was one of the last essays written, so I was a mite punchy at that point.

See also:
Raven's Triceratops, Tupandactylus, and Raven!
The Pterosauria!
The Dinosauria!


Zach said...

A filter-feeding crocodile? You're mad, man! MAD, I say! But really, I think this is one of the most dramatic pieces you did. There's something about a giant croc emerging from the depths (love the fadout toward the hindquarters) to capture a school of...animals...that gives the picture a real punch.

And ah yes, the curling. Good times!

Brianne, You may call me Mistressyness said...

Holy Crap! Double Holy Crap!

I'm in AWE. just plain AWE. And so, I stand back silently to admire this work. I don't care if it curled like a scroll, the piece is REally -wonderfully -tastomatically -too -damn -coool - type NEAT! You brought one wierd beastie to life for me. Thanks.