Critter of the Week: Plesiosaurus

Meet Nessie.  This curious undersea critter is always looking for an opportunity to nab a treat.  You’ll never see her coming!  Her favorite game is hide-&-seek. 🙂


Look at that smile, I think she wants you to chase her!

Nessie loves hide & seek, especially seeking.  Better watch out, because she’ll sneak up on you from below.  She’s really good at that.  It’s hard to see in the picture here, but her eyes are almost on top of her head and point upwards a lot.

It’s kinda funny, because I made the mistake of doing more research while I was coloring her, and ended up making changes!

Now here is my original sketch…



Notice all those little bumps and wrinkles in line of her spine there?  And that little line that marks her jaw line at the back of the skull?

Turns out that what I thought was a beefy, well fed Nessie, was actually 2 weeks from starvation.  No kidding.

The article I read compared two pictures of orca whales beside each other.  One starving, the other healthy.  The healthy one had a perfectly smooth torpedo shape.  The starving one had a defined spine and faint lines defining the shape of the skull.

I didn’t even know whales could get that skinny!  But apparently they do, and when they do, it doesn’t end well.

But I’m not sharing random sad stories.  My point is, that this whale showed the same marks as my Nessie.  And she’s a marine critter perfectly adapted for life in the open water.  It’s reasonable to think she’d have similar adaptations.  Thick layers of insulating fat to keep her warm. 🙂  And less wrinkly, because that just makes it harder to glide through the water.  Essential for predators.

So yay for the magic of contour forming shadows and highlights!  Nessie is now a happy and well fed marine reptile. 🙂

I could experiment more with an even smoother and more blubbery profile, like sea turtles, seals, and orcas- and there’s this neat speculative thing about a stumpy skink tail- but that’ll have to wait until the next sketch. 😛


Making progress…

I’m having fun with the blog posts, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 🙂

This week I have a special goal to update the about page.  At the moment it’s too much about me, and not too clear what Pete’s Paleo Petshop means for you.  I love what I’m doing, but ultimately I want it to be for you, and not make it all about me.

It’s important that you get to know me of course.  Who wants to have a one-way conversion with the nameless and faceless website?  I just think the about page could be better.  I could still have the stories about how I got here, just not take center stage. 🙂

Coming Next Week…

This quiet softie loves nothing more than to spend time with his special person.

Share your guess in the comments! He’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

17 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Plesiosaurus

    1. Hi David! Do you mean Tanystropheus? Those are very cool critters from the Triassic period. They’re among my favorite weirdos of that period, and I definitely plan on including one in the shop once I get there. 😀 Tommy or Tammy are good names for these critters, but since I plan on exploring the Cretaceous after this it may take a while.


      1. Don’t forget Hupehsuchus and Eretimorphis, two bizarre Triassic beasts.

        And you certainly shouldn’t forget to post the updated Flipper or Elmer on Insta or DTF.


    1. Elasmosaurus is a Cretaceous critter, so I may add it to Pete’s shop when I get started on the book featuring the Cretaceous period. Right now I’m featuring critters from the Jurassic Period. 🙂

      Thank you again for stopping by and chatting with me! 😀


  1. Wow, I had no idea. I’ll keep that in mind for future reference! Heheh, what would we do without Photoshop? 😛

    That personality description for the next dino sounds familiar. Could it be dilophosaurus? 🙂 But you already made his picture, didn’t you?


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