Ancient Denvers - Sand Planet (Image 2)
June 14, 2010
Ancient Denvers - Sand Planet (Image 2) Time Period: 280 million years ago - Early Permian (Paleozoic) It is the time of Pangaea, a giant supercontinent formed by the collision of all of the earth's continents. Sand seas reminiscent of the Sahara cover huge stretches of the American West, with immense dunes lapping up the flanks of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. Bizarre plants and animals inhabit this giant desert, including squat-bodied protomammals the size of big dogs and a few of the world's first large-bodied plant-eaters. Many of them leave their tracks in the dunes. The plants that have adjusted to this extreme climate include extinct oddballs such as Tinsleya and gigantopterid plants and some of the first conifers and cycads. [Text used by permission, Denver Museum of Nature & Science.] This image is from Ancient Denvers, an exhibition of paintings depicting the Denver area as it looked during the various phases of our earths geologic past. Using evidence from the core's rocks and sediment, and from geologic evidence gathered in other parts of the area, museum scientists, working with local artists, re-created several ancient Denver landscapes that depict Denver's amazingly varied past. The Ancient Denvers paintings were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grant EAR 98-05474). Ancient Denvers is an outreach effort of the Denver Basin research project at the museum. Primary funding for the Denver Basin Project was provided by NSF, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado State Engineer's Office, the United States Geological Survey, the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Elbert County Commissioners, Jefferson County Open Space, the Colorado Natural Areas Council and Prima Energy. To learn more about Ancient Denvers, visit the exhibition homepage. (Date of Image: 2002) [Image 2 of 14 related images. See Next Image.] The Artists The artwork in the Ancient Denvers exhibit includes the combined talents of three experienced artists. --Donna Braginetz is known for her precise renderings of dinosaurs and other ancient life. She painted the first of the Ancient Denvers landscapes -- a reconstruction of the site of Denver International Airport as it looked 65 million years ago. The painting and the public's response to it were the inspiration for expanding the Ancient Denvers project to include thirteen additional landscapes. --Gary Staab is a well-known sculptor and painter of prehistoric animals. His work has appeared on the cover of Natural History magazine. Gary is a former employee of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where he created a number of sculptures for the Prehistoric Journey exhibition. --Jan Vriesen is a world-renowned painter and muralist. He is best known for painting murals that form the backdrops of museum dioramas. At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Jan's work can be seen both in the temporary Ancient Denvers exhibition, as well as in the Kansas Coastline diorama of the permanent Prehistoric Journey exhibition. See "Special Restrictions" for use of this image, below.