The Dinosaur Art of Karen Carr

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The Dinosaur Art of Karen Carr

jurassic period
Dinosaur life during the Jurassic period (Karen Carr).

One of the world's most successful and accomplished paleo-artists, Karen Carr has executed prehistoric panoramas for many famous natural history museums (including the Field Museum, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution), and her work has appeared in numerous magazines (including Science, Nature, and Scientific American) as well as books published by HarperCollins, Random House, and Scholastic. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, to an artist father and a scientist mother, Karen studied natural sciences and physics at the University of Texas in Austin, and received a prestigious Ford Foundation scholarship in recognition of her illustration and life-drawing skills. She completed her undergraduate studies with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from North Texas State University and subsequently took graduate courses in anatomy and business at The University of Texas in Dallas. You can see more of Karen's art at, and you can reach her by email at On the following pages, Karen shares her 10 favorite paleo-illustrations.


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Aetodactylus, a pterosaur of the middle Cretaceous period (Karen Carr).

The discovery of the toothed Aetodactylus hints that the pterosaurs of middle Cretaceous North America may have been more diverse than previously thought, encompassing all sizes of toothed and toothless species. About Karen Carr


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Pleurocoelus and Acrocanthosaurus

glen rose
A sauropod and a theropod mix it up at the Glen Rose formation (Karen Carr).

Near Glen Rose, Texas, the beds of the Paluxy River have yielded the footprints of two antagonistic dinosaurs: the sauropod Paluxysaurus and the the theropod Acrocanthosaurus. Did they ever fight? More about Karen Carr


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Brontotherium, the "thunder beast" (Karen Carr).

The late Eocene Brontotherium ("thunder beast") had an unusually small brain for its size, and there's some speculation that it may have figured on the lunch menu of the gigantic meat-eating mammal Andrewsarchus. About Karen Carr

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A Hatching Tyrannosaur

hatching tyrannosaur
A newly hatched tyrannosaur meets its mom (Karen Hunt).

We know very little about the family life of theropod dinosaurs, but it's not inconceivable that some tyrannosaurs hatched in the presence of their parents (even if all they could see was their feet!) About Karen Carr


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Anomalocaris, a strange invertebrate of the Cambrian period (Karen Carr).
Cambrian deposits in Canada have yielded the remains of some very strange invertebrates, including the 500-million-year-old Anomalocaris, the "abnormal shrimp," which measured three feet from head to tail. About Karen Carr


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Pachyrhinosaurus, a close relative of Triceratops (Karen Carr).

Paleontologists believe Pachyrhinosaurus males used their thick noses to butt one another for the right to mate with females, much like modern-day rhinos; both these animals were about the same length and weight. About Karen Carr

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Protostega and Cretoxyrhina

cretoxyrhina and protostega
The prehistoric turtle Protostega encounters a Cretoxyrhina shark (Karen Carr).

Protostega was a two-ton turtle of the late Cretaceous period, and Cretoxyrhina was a comparably sized shark. Did these two ocean dwellers ever cross paths with one another? About Karen Carr

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Ordovician Marine Life

the ordovician sea
Marine life during the Ordovician period (Karen Carr).

During the Ordovician period, from 488 to 433 million years ago, modern fish had yet to evolve, but the oceans were still stocked with a wide assortment of invertebrate life, especially crustaceans. About Karen Carr


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Carboniferous Marine Life

Carboniferous marine life
Marine life during the Carboniferous period (Karen Carr).

Undersea life during the Carboniferous period had yet to be dominated by marine reptiles, which only flourished in the ensuing Mesozoic Era--but there was still a wide assortment of sharks and fish. About Karen Carr


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Silurian Marine Life

silurian marine life
Marine life during the Silurian period (Karen Carr).

The Silurian period, from 443 to 416 million years ago, was a transitional stage in undersea life, as the first jawed fish evolved and the dominance of invertebrates came to an end. About Karen Carr