Critter of the Week: Ichthyosaurus

Meet Flipper.  He’s a happy-go-lucky guy who’s only ambition in life is to cruise the water for a bite of squid.  He loves to greet new friends with a friendly splash.




It’s a dolphin!  It’s a shark!  It’s a…dinosaur?

Flipper is part of a unique-snowflake group of animals called Ichthyosaurs (think Ick!-theosaurs).

Way back when his great-great-great-great-super-great grandaddy (some lizardy thing at the time) started spending a lot of time in water.  So much time, that he got really good at it, so now Flipper is basically what a dolphin or fish would look like if reptiles started an aquatic lifestyle.

At least that’s the theory.  No one’s found this hypothetical, reptilian, super-great grandaddy so far, and there’s a lot of discussion when it comes to figuring out Flipper’s closest relatives.

Flipper here doesn’t think too much about all that though.  He’s just happy with the bucketful of squid Pete brings him.


Making Progress…

This week I’ve been navigating the lovely realm of technical difficulties!

My usual day for writing the week’s post is Tuesday, since the rest of the week I’m working on progress, and was not playing nice.  So I did what I could, and now I’m trying to finish while the kids eat breakfast downstairs.  😀

So enough icky stuff, on to the fun stuff!

Flipper got an update!  It was mostly the awkwardness of critters with very large eyes, like this guy, that convinced me to change eye styles. He looks much better now that his eye isn’t an awkward dot.  See?




I’ve also been working on what the info pages in the back of the book look like.  The one I’ve made the most progress on is the Meet the Critters page.  Here’s a sneak peak at what the critter profiles may look like. 🙂  I’m rather pleased with it so far, though I want to make it clear which ones are or are not dinosaurs.  Like Nessie here.  She’s definitely not a dinosaur.


Plesiosaurus box

I’m wondering if I should include the character’s name somewhere, instead of just the usual genus name.  All the critters in the shop are generally based on a particular species, but I’ve given myself a bit of leeway when it comes to precise measurements because they are domesticated.

I do try to be accurate to the best of my ability and research, but I also don’t want this project to take a century.  So if you notice a few tiny errors (not glaring ones like incorrect number of toes, please tell me those!), then the differences are because these critters are of the domestic variety.


Artistic license y’know. 😉

So paleontologists and paleo-art nitpickers, feel free to offer suggestions and tell me where I can do better!  I’m always happy to hear constructive critique. 🙂

But now I gotta run!  I hear a little chaos starting to build downstairs. 😀


Coming Next Week…

It’s the T-rex before T-rex!  The Lion of the Jurassic!  The terror of…hold on a second…is he napping🙂

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

7 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Ichthyosaurus

  1. Woah,took me bit long to comment,exams got me right in the spot! Liking the profiles,but i think the text is a little small.Oh,and make sure Pete prepared Alfred a bed on the COTW train,it’s a long trip!


    1. Thank you for the feedback Kaprosaurus! I’ll be sure to fix the text so it’s more readable. 🙂

      Pete always make sure every critter is comfortable on the train. For Alfred, he has a lovely sandbox for him to lay in. 😀


  2. Woohoo, Flipper got an update! Now he looks more cuddly…if an aquatic animal can be considered “cuddly.” 😛

    I like the new critter profile design. 😀 Nice, clean, and simple. I like the watercolory background. :3 (How did you manage to get that effect, by the way?) I do think that it looks a tiny bit disorganized, though, like there’s not a clear layout. It might be because Nessie’s neck is sticking out a little too much, or the genus name isn’t in line with the rest of the text. Or maybe it’s because of the placement of Pete’s silhouette. But overall, looks good! I’m looking forward to seeing the other critter profiles. 😀


    1. Hi Brownie, it’s good to see you here!
      Now I want a Flipper plushie 😀

      The watercolor background on the profile was just a few quick brush strokes in Corel paint. 🙂 I really like the watercolor brushes.

      Yeah, I’m not quite sure where to put the genus name, so I’ve been fiddling with that a bit. The pronunciation guide has to go with it somehow, and so I’ve been treating it like a single entity, but it’s awkward.

      It’s one of those things that looks like it should be so simple, so why is it so hard! 😛

      I like this style of profile more than the footprint profiles (mostly because it shows the whole critter & size comparison). Depending on how much everyone likes it, I may change all the critter profiles to be like this. 🙂


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