I recently learned of palaeo-art from John Lavas our biology librarian. It’s nothing to do with our needing a palaeo-diet but rich in images of what formed the diet of animals before man arrived. What I like about it is that it breathes life to fossils, as artists re-create how they think animals may have looked and behaved in their habitat. In addition to the intellectual challenge of piecing together the picture from the clues available, the art can be both beautiful, sometimes amusing, and a great way to communicate palaeo-ecology to the public. John’s articles were based on the work of Zdenék Burian (1905-81).

I thank Jiri Hochman for permission to include these images of Burian’s work, and the Editor of the journal Prehistoric Times for permission to allow downloads of John’s articles Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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