Scientific illustration

Scientific illustration plays a key role in specimen-based paleobiological research. Anatomically accurate reconstructions of extinct organisms serve two main purposes. First, illustrations allow us to graphically summarize the morphological information preserved in body fossils, and thelp us to visualize extinct oragnisms as actual living beings. Second, illustrations represent an excellent resource for teaching and outreach. It is much easier to communicate the biological complexity of an extinct organism to a general audience through an aesthetically attractive reconstruction, than by solely examining the fossil data, as the latter is often incomplete or distorted by preservation biases. This section showcases a combination of schematic diagrams, artistic impressions, and professional scientific reconstructions that accompany our published manuscripts.

Cambroraster Sulliivan

Top: Environmental reconstruction of the early Cambrian (Stage 3) Chengjiang biota in South China, featuring the eudemersal radiodont Cambroraster sp. (see publication here). Artwork by Holly Sullivan.
Bottom Left: Sketch for Cambroraster sp. reconstruction. Artwork by Holly Sullivan.
Bottom Right: Sketch for environmental reconstruction. Artwork by Holly Sullivan.