After finishing the reconstruction of Didelphodon vorax, David DeMar, a PhD student of Dr. Wilson's lab asked me to reconstruct his specimen, Magnuviator ovimonsensis. Magnuviator ovimonsensis (when I started this project in 2015, it was called "Egg Mountain lizard" and there was no species name) is an ancient lizard, which lived 75 million years ago in a dinosaur age in the Northern America.
As I did for Didelphodon vorax, what I did first is to study some extant species. David and I went to the Reptile Zoo at Monroe and took many photos. The morphologically closest species is Basilisk, he said.
Green Basilisk at the Reptile Zoo (Monroe, WA). Reptiles are easy to take photo since they don't move fast.
That time, it was my first time to draw reptiles. I practiced drawing Basilisk for a practice.
Since the fossilized specimen was merged into the rock , I referred Temujinia on Digimorph to tilt 3D image. We hypothesized that the skin color may be sandy brown with some stripes which makes sense to camouflage in arid or semi-arid environment. I looked many online videos of iguanians and I liked their sit-and-wait style of predation. So I drew the scene that one Magnuviator gazing at a hole where a wasp coming out and the other with a wasp in its mouth.
Rough sketch of life reconstructions of Magnuviator.
The study was published on Jan. 2017 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
My illustration was used for a blog of Scientific American and a press release of University of Washington.