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About Professional Artist Maija KaralaFemale/Finland Groups :iconprehistory-alive: Prehistory-Alive
Bringing prehistory back to life
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Deviant for 10 Years
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Statistics 321 Deviations 2,072 Comments 118,548 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Dolichorhynchops Cruising by Eurwentala Dolichorhynchops Cruising :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 89 18 A Small Guide to Bird Colours by Eurwentala A Small Guide to Bird Colours :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 211 30 Fish of Arctic Ocean by Eurwentala Fish of Arctic Ocean :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 110 14 Hunter on the Move by Eurwentala Hunter on the Move :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 154 9 Birds of Ostrobothnia by Eurwentala Birds of Ostrobothnia :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 105 9 Naked Anchiornis by Eurwentala Naked Anchiornis :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 175 19 Mouth Parts by Eurwentala Mouth Parts :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 114 16 Wild Turkey by Eurwentala Wild Turkey :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 108 23 Resplendent Quetzal by Eurwentala Resplendent Quetzal :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 108 14 On the Move by Eurwentala On the Move :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 166 10 Winter Birds by Eurwentala Winter Birds :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 82 12 Winter Mammals by Eurwentala Winter Mammals :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 106 11 Sand Bird by Eurwentala Sand Bird :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 156 18 Inktober Anatomy by Eurwentala Inktober Anatomy :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 67 5 Tiny Chalicothere by Eurwentala Tiny Chalicothere :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 151 21 Inktober Squamates by Eurwentala Inktober Squamates :iconeurwentala:Eurwentala 120 10

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Horse Muscles Reference by EponaN64 Horse Muscles Reference :iconeponan64:EponaN64 3,710 247 Come Here Fishy, Fishy by Julio-Lacerda Come Here Fishy, Fishy :iconjulio-lacerda:Julio-Lacerda 292 60 Speculation about Dinosaurian Integument by Julio-Lacerda Speculation about Dinosaurian Integument :iconjulio-lacerda:Julio-Lacerda 108 44 Danke, Urvogel by Julio-Lacerda Danke, Urvogel :iconjulio-lacerda:Julio-Lacerda 277 47 Flying Circus by ChrisMasna Flying Circus :iconchrismasna:ChrisMasna 126 18 Night Sadness by hontor Night Sadness :iconhontor:hontor 294 18 Snow Leopard Kittens by Si3art Snow Leopard Kittens :iconsi3art:Si3art 465 49 Felinoid hands by Viergacht Felinoid hands :iconviergacht:Viergacht 66 15 Make love not war... by PatriciaVazquez Make love not war... :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 166 101 Hidden by PatriciaVazquez Hidden :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 163 30 Maya having fun in the Ferns.. by PatriciaVazquez Maya having fun in the Ferns.. :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 200 23 Bleeding love by PatriciaVazquez Bleeding love :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 200 49 Cicic's journey by PatriciaVazquez Cicic's journey :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 135 73 It is a beautiful world by PatriciaVazquez It is a beautiful world :iconpatriciavazquez:PatriciaVazquez 540 83 Arise by RalphHorsley Arise :iconralphhorsley:RalphHorsley 3,863 483


Dolichorhynchops Cruising
I haven't made many marine reptile depictions, feeling I don't know enough about them to do it right. It seems I never have the time to read enough, either.

Lately, my spouse has been really interested in plesiosaurs, and he urged me to draw one too (and helpfully showed me how their movement and soft tissues work). This is Dolichorhynchops osborni, a Late Cretaceous polycotylid roughly the size of a dolphin, with a delightful bulbous head. Apparently, these animals swam predominantly using their front flippers, much like living sea turtles and penguins.
A Small Guide to Bird Colours
I recently wrote a blog post (in Finnish:…) about the science of fossil dinosaur colours.  As a spinoff, I started reading about pigments in living birds and made this.

As many of you probably know, melanosomes are sometimes preserved in dinosaur fossils and can be used to deduct their original colours: Microraptor was iridescent, Sinosauropteryx had a rufous-and-white tail, etc. The method currently can only detect black, brown, and some structural hues. So how much are we missing? With this infographic, I tried to show how the rainbow of feather colours in living birds is formed.
Fish of Arctic Ocean
A set of fish I made for Sieppo, the children's magazine of Finnish Nature League. The editors had seen photographs posted on Instagram by a Russian fisherman, who became a small Internet sensation for sharing photos of the fishy oddballs his vessel hauls up (this guy:…). They wanted to show these fish in the magazine, but it would probably not be a good idea to show kids the dead, mutilated animals in the original photos. So, they commissioned illustrations.

The species are roughhead grenadier (Macrourus berglax), lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus), Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) and Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus). The latter is apparently the most long-living known vertebrate: a female that got caught in a fishing net and died was dated to be around 400 years old (source:…).

Oh, and about the lumpsucker. As it's name suggests, the pelvic fins of the lumpsucker have evolved into a kind of adhesive disc. Back in the University, I was taught that the best way of differentiating these fish from anything else was to grab them firmly by the tail and swing them into a plastic tray, belly down. If the tray can then be lifted up with the fish, you're holding either a lumpsucker or a Common seasnail. And yes, the fish were already dead.
Hunter on the Move
Sinosauropteryx prima stalking on the edge of a forest clearing in Jehol, Early Cretaceous China. An early stick insect Cretophasmomima melanogramma flies away, alarmed by the approaching animal.

I made this piece for Journalisti, a membership magazine of The Union of Journalists in Finland. They are having a series about illustrative journalism, displaying works by illustrators, photographers, and animators. My piece was about recreating past animals and ecosystems, and I was free to choose my favourite dinosaur. It's always fun to have actual palaeoart commissions!
My next Botany for paleoartists post is finally here. I had to sit on it for a month, because the illustration had to be first published by the newspaper that ordered it.

Here it is, however: the plants and climate of Northern Alaska during the latest Cretaceous. This was the time of Ugrunaaluk, Nanuqsaurus and a number of other Arctic dinosaurs, and it looked surprisingly much like modern taiga.

Link to full text:…


Eurwentala's Profile Picture
Maija Karala
Artist | Professional
A biology jack of all trades. I illustrate, blog, write and teach.


Add a Comment:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy late birthday!
Tarturus Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday.
Dinosaurzzz Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2017
Happy Birthday!
Yutyrannus Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday!
Celestial-Rainstorm Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday, I hope you have a wonderful day! 
Yom-Tsiur Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
Heil, Authority!!!!
I bend my head before you!!!!
Sublime-Feline Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconhello3plz: :iconhello4plz:

Welcome to :iconworld-of-wildlife: and thanks so much for joining. :hug: I really hope you enjoy being part of the wildlife group family.

:note: If you have any questions, feel free to send us a note!

NocturnalSea Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Professional Traditional Artist
I found your blog a few weeks ago and I've really been enjoying it. I especially like your articles about Mesozoic plants. The fern one was especially enlightening. I've often wondered about how I could show more plant diversity in my paleoart while still being reasonably true to life.
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017  Professional
Thanks! Always nice to hear people finding my stuff useful. :) I'm sure you'll put the information to good use. I really like how colourful your paleoart is!
alvringer Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just read your piece about dog domestication and breeding on your blog and I found it really interesting, especially the parts about the pale colours being linked to tame characteristics, I knew that happened but I never knew why before! I hadn't heard about the pigment migration before now. Your blog looks fascinating! Also you read Durrell and collect animal artifacts, which are some of my favorite things too :D
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