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Pakicetus Inachus by tiffanyturrill Pakicetus Inachus by tiffanyturrill
I gave them a similar color pattern, is all.

Once upon a time, there were no herbivorous mammals- but there were hoofed mammals - ungulates. Pakicetus is a member of an extinct line of ungulates that were carnivorous - so although they look like dogs, they're actually more closely related to sheep and hippos.

And yes, they are actually one of the basal ancestors of whales. How do we know? In the inner ear of Pakicetus is a specific feature endemic to their family group, which no other group of animals share- except modern whales! CRAZY.

These guys lived in what is now Pakistan 55-40 million years ago, and during that time, the Indian subcontinent had yet to plow into Asia (creating the Himalayas), so until then, these guys had a nice beachfront where they could frolic and eat fishies in the warm shallow lagoons. :D

Notice they already had the long fish-catching snout and high-rotated eye sockets on top of their head, perfect for breathing while swimming!

This is a painting done for The Games We Play show in San Francisco, which will be up from March to April [link]

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MrJmZack Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Beautiful work, thank you for sharing.

I like to think that what you've illustrated here, this — the miracle of life, adaptation, evolution — really brings the character of Ian Malcolm's line to light: "Life, uh, finds a way."
Khialat Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
Really great work! It is rather astonishing to think that they become whales :D
deinoscaos Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
woooowww es hermoso!!!
ars-autem-lux Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is amazingly done, the poses are so realistic, and I love the color palette you used. :D
Dama-de-Noche Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013
The first whales! <3
NixKat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love their faces, especially the yawning one.
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Professional General Artist
it's tiring being a fat, cute, semiaquatic whale ancestor!
NixKat Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For some reason they also remind me of fuzzy crocodiles.
NKourk Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great job!!I love the whole landscape and ofcourse the details and the dynamic stand of the animals!
JurassicPark40 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
This a brilliant restoration!!
Bewildermunster Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing piece of art, great job! The colors are beautiful. :)
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Nice. And while I realise the middle one is probably yawning, to me, it's laughing hysterically.
futurepaleoxeno123 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011
i think Pakicetus would look more like more-aquatic ambulocetus.
Kiffakitty Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2011
WOW! That is really cool! The details are great and the background looks really smooth and realistic. I am even impressed with the water and the fish! :)
Devinital Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Interesting representation. I especially like the marking and how you posed them.
Zer0King10 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
OwO cool what did you use for the color
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
Cipher80 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
DinosaurManZT2 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
wow, this looks extremly realisitic! Great colour scheme and postures! =D
Charry-Heart Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011
cuz land wales are cool :3
vinczeerno Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist
Lovely! Who would think these will eventually evolve into almost completely fish-like creatures...
I like their snouts a lot, they look like they are smiling (just like their descendats, modern dolphins). the way, you make a little mistake in the description. There were herbivorous mammals 55-40 years ago, such as Hyracotherium and and Barylambda.
Tsubane Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011
I :heart: Pakicetus.
dracontes Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the illustrative style and the fact that it doesn't forgo accuracy, which is always a plus for me :)
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yay! and thank you! hahaha
I'm sure the piece is full of mistakes that the more paleo-OCD could pinpoint, though - but shhh. Don't tell them. ;)
dracontes Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Remember: you asked for it ;)

Actually, while the only thing that really looked off were the teeth as too many and too small, having a look at the original reconstruction [link] the problem becomes irrelevant at this resolution.
Also I could mention the back of the knee being too thick but that's me forgetting these animals had fur and subcutaneous fat besides muscle: I checked my cat this morning and the outline of the back leg isn't significantly different

So yeah, I stand by what I said above :)
dracontes Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :)

Hey, I can go paleo-OCD on you if you'd care for it ;) Just drop a note!
Moreeni Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
Beautiful work indeed! :)
Heh, I was looking for good pakicetus reference pictures a couple of months ago (for a project). Figures I find one now when it no longer matters... :doh:
Ani-mato Featured By Owner May 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful work!
THD-Photography Featured By Owner May 2, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Very interesting facial pattern below the eye.
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011
I seriously wonder how\ the ancestors of whales lived...
Kentrosaur Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! wonderful picture :D
SirGentle Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011
;) :thumbsup:
SirGentle Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011
I like a lot how you made the pakicetuses look very mammalian-like and that the fur coats look formidable and almost touchable. The detail of the typical freckles in the bellies is very cool aswell. Is great! You broath to life this specie and you too made it look more natural and credible with the fish the proto cetacean is eating over its front paws and all the details you put there in the environment type they lived in and that you drawed there too. Excellent drawing as art illustration and excellent interesting theme.
Ranshiinsitha Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Student Digital Artist
The one wich is yawnin made me lol, i love it <3 Looks like he's smilling ^^

Also, i love visiting you page once a while and reading what you write, i love evoluion, i would like to be as good as you, in drawing and in specie's evolution history too x)

Just a question if you know, i can see you drew them a short fur, but the reflects on the wet paws makes the paws look like they have not fur at all, how was their fur? Waterproof?
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
i figured they had fur similar to that of otters or sea lions, which is short and oily, and allowed them to regularly enter the water without trapping air and making them unnecessarily buoyant - this helped them be in control as they hunted underwater.
short oily fur when wet looks more like dark skin.


i figured this based on their already evident semi-aquatic features - but to my knowledge, whether Pakicetus had fur at all is still a hotly debated issue in the scientific community.
Ranshiinsitha Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Student Digital Artist
It's bad nobody can actually get some of their skin, but that's a nice theory you have there. And i agree with you.
As the modern whales they could also have a bit of fat under the skin to protect them from the cold, i dunno xD

I love these guys <3
nevelyn Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011
Awesome! The pic is brilliant but at least equally interesting is the information you provide of them - it is crazy indeed! They really do look like tasmanian tigers, but I can also see the resemblance to sea mammals. Was there some spesific reason you choose to color them with stripes? :D
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011  Professional General Artist
thank you so much for your kind words!

i guess adding the stripes was more of a purely aesthetic decision, instead of a scientific one - i kinda just wanted them to be a bit more distinctive and pretty. :B

it's likely that Pakicetus was colored similar to most semi-aquatic creatures alive today, hippos, otters, etc: dark on their back and light on their belly.
nevelyn Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
You're welcome, you deserved them!

The red and the stripes do look nice, so the decision wasn't bad at all - and then again, even though they might not now be as good in blending to the background as the hippos, they can be proud of their handsome colours ;)
Paleo-Orca Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a great depiction of Pakicetus! I love the one yawning, kehe. :3c
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Damn... This is so awesome it damn near made my day! :)

Truly, staggeringly awesome work! :)
chris-illustrator Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011
Great painting.
It's funny, I knew whales started out as land animals, but I never stopped to try and imagine what they actually looked like then. It's amazing they looked so different.
tiffanyturrill Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
they made tremendous changes in a suuuper short amount of geologic time! very ambitious, if you ask me ;)

goddamn, I :love: evolution so much
Princesse-de-la-Lune Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
Wonderful job, and I love the yawning one :D
his mouth is really ridiculously big :'D those poor fish x3
AmnioticOef Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
I see more than a little thylacine in these guys...

Love the hoofed toes!
Deinowilly Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful, i'm really speechless!! WOWW
DJ88 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ohh i love these ^^
fantastic job!
InvisibleCatfish Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love their beady little eyes. :D
Twarda8 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011
They look definitely like a whales... Why someone would say they are tasmanian tigers?
I think I watched a film about this animal once... It was an interesting but little infant (unfortunately like all other "prehistory documentaries") film. I think I noted some information from it somewhere.

Oh, and it is a very amasing painting. Breath taking.
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Submitted on
February 9, 2011
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