Critter of the Week: Castorocauda

Meet Cassie.  All she wants in life is to get her feet wet, and perhaps a fish or two.  Yes, she would really like fish.  Do you have some?


Pretty please with cherries on top?

Can’t fool her, she knows I brought some of those little dried fishy treats.  Look at that face, she might even snuggle for some.

But please don’t Cassie.  Down girl.  Thank you.  I don’t really want to smell like river mud at the moment.

Have a treat!

I’m sure you must be wondering what she is…

She is a small mammal from the middle of Jurassic China, just a bit smaller than a modern platypus.  She has a lot in common with platypus, such as a love for water, strong digging paws, a thick fur pelt, and probably even laid eggs like a platypus (though it’s tough to know for sure with the fossils we have).

But she’s not actually related to platypus, beavers, or any modern mammal.  She is from an extinct group of mammals called docodonta.

You can find out more about Cassie and her family here.


Making progress…

Wow, what a week! Real life is making sure things stay interesting, but I managed to make some progress in spite of the doctor’s appointments and my chickens trying to kill me. 😛

Interesting story there actually. My chickens love styrofoam. They’ll eat it like candy if you let them, even if I toss out extra scratch grains and leftovers for them. They’re having quite the treat with the insulation we used to wrap the pipes.

Well Monday I saw the chickens pecking at the stuff, and I stormed outside to chase them off of it…and next thing I know I hear a nasty pop and I’m on the ground. Luckily the ground was soft from all the drizzle we’ve been having, so the fall wasn’t bad- I basically collapsed where I stood, so Baby was fine. My ankle felt like it was on fire, but I could wiggle my toes, so I knew it wasn’t broken.

So that little fiasco has made walking an interesting challenge, but I have 3 little helpers who’ve been very cooperative while Mommy’s ankle gets better. So I’m grateful that it was just twisted and is quickly on the mend. 🙂

So that’s been the most exciting thing to happen all week. In between the more boring busy-ness I’ve been making good progress with preparations for February.

From concept art you get to thumbnailing story ideas and illustrations, exploring the characters, doing research, and all that sort of messy stuff before getting the “official” storyboard done.


11x14_thumbnail dump.jpg
Thumbnail dump! Some of them can be really messy. 🙂
A couple of storyboard snapshots.
Some behind-the-scenes research sketches…
splashing dippy.jpg
One of many fun doodles exploring the characters. 🙂 Dippy is the type who would splash in a stream just because it’s fun.

Coming Next Week…

A real sweetie who’ll tolerate just about anything, even dress up.  Just be careful not to spook her. 🙂

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

7 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Castorocauda

  1. Hi Kaprosaurus! I hope you’re having a joyful and peaceful holiday this week 🙂

    Cassie isn’t related to any of the monotremes we have today, or any modern mammal group. She is part of a group of mammals known as Docodonta, and apparently there’s been a bit of controversy as to whether they should be considered true mammals or not. It looks like one of the only things that makes them a “mammal” is the type of joint they have at the jaw.

    I’m doing much better now that we’ve slowed things down to enjoy the holidays. We’ve been spending a lot of time with family, so not much progress on the book stuff, but my ankle is much better. It’s good to be able to walk normally again! 😀

    Yeah, I was actually surprised to find so many concept sketches. I didn’t realize I’d done so many sketches. I’m still scanning in a bunch of other sketches from when I was exploring the characters. 🙂

    As for tomorrow’s COTW…I’m afraid she’ll have to wait another week. I completely forgot to take into account the holidays! But I’ll still put something up tomorrow, so I won’t leave you hanging for a full two weeks. 🙂


  2. I wonder if Cassie is related to monotremes,i mean we don’t have proof that they are not,however the gap between the time they lived is huge,so it may have been a low possibility.And i hope your’e okay,twisted ankles are not good,good thibg Baby is safe,this is undisputable proof chickens evolved from savage theropods! Didn’t know how much concept art you actually went through to get a page! Next COTW i think is Bella or Twig,not sure….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s