I wanted to draw a Chinese sauropod in a bamboo forest. Upon doing some research, I settled on the Shunosaurus, because there’s lots of skeletons of that kind and they know pretty much what it looked like. Unlike a lot of Chinese sauropods, which are only known from, like, a leg and part of a neck. Kind of hard to get good skeleton pictures that way.
Anyway, when we were in Virginia, we were driving past endless miles of forest, and suddenly drove past a large swath of bamboo. The bamboo was green and healthy-looking, despite it being 35 degrees outside, and it was quickly spreading through the forest. It alarmed me. Left alone, bamboo tends to take over and choke out native growth.
Then I was thinking that it’s such a shame that all the sauropods are gone, because there was an alpha-herbivore for you. Their necks had such a huge arc-range that they could stand still and eat massive chunks out of a forest, the way elephants do, only more so. I’ll bet a bunch of sauropods could have kept stuff like bamboo and kudzu under control real easily. Alas for our deprived world with 99% of the really useful animals gone!
Anyway, here’s my references:
Shunosaurus skeleton. You can even see the club on his tail, waaaay down at the end.
Bamboo forest with flowers in the foreground. I thought it made the perfect spot for some large animal to come peeking out of the darkness back in the bamboo.