Welcome to Prehistoric Beast of the Week!
Welcome to Prehistoric Beast of the Week! This site was born from the widely popular, now offline, Jersey Boys Hunt Dinosaurs, which started back in 2012. Luckily, I was able to save all of my articles, including my weekly prehistoric animal reports (which had become pretty popular with readers) and am now in charge of my own site which you see before you.
Going to keep doing things I know are successful...
I will continue to cover a different prehistoric animal every week, each complete with an original painting by me, photograph of its fossil, and wherever possible, input from a professional paleontologist who actually works with said beast. On the site we also will continue to interview nature artists, paleontologists, and other kinds of scientists, as well as write our own miscellaneous posts here and there.
Going to try new things I hope are successful...
In addition, I will be doing a few new things. Never before has there been a site that revolved around paleontology that ALSO had a strong foothold in modern animal biology, particularly endangered species conservation. I want to change that. At Prehistoric Beast of the Week you will start to see more posts about endangered species, the environment, and most importantly, information on how you can help save them! In order to fully understand and preserve the world around us, we must understand its history. This is where paleontology and modern biology marry.
My main goal here is to educate you, the reader, with the help of real science directly from the source. However, I also want you to have fun and laugh at the same time you are learning. It's really hard to learn if you aren't having fun. I discovered this fact over my years of teaching at zoos, museums, and in formal classrooms. Lastly I want to encourage you to reach out to us. We love hearing input from our readers. Do you have a favorite prehistoric animal you would like to see me review? Do you want to know more about how you can help a particular habitat or endangered species maybe near your own home? Ask in our comment sections under each post and we will always get back to you with as much information as we can. Enjoy!
Who's writing this stuff?
Nathan Van Vranken
Nathan has proven to become quite the proficient academic which will award him a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary studies with specializations both Biology and Geology from UTA. Nathan’s research expertise within the AAS and focus of his undergraduate thesis project is the evaluation of the paleoecology of the marine sections of the Cretaceous Woodbine Formation ranging from both micro and macro levels of Invertebrates to vertebrates and then proposes a mechanism of ecology. Nathan will pursue a Master’s degree with emphasis in vertebrate paleontology dealing with marine reptiles (Mosasaurs) post 2013 at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
Eric is an artist from Rochester, NY and a self taught naturalist. Working in various mediums, he uses his talents and experience to both create lively and unique restorations of extinct and modern wildlife as well as designing and constructing habitats for captive animals for zoos and private collectors. He has done work for the AZA accredited, Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY, both designing and constructing their frog habitats and other enrichment pieces for other animals in the collection. Eric also consults with collectors, breeders and keepers around the world assisting in their own vivarium and terrarium builds, specializing in amphibian habitats and tropical and semi aquatic environments. Eric also consults with individuals looking to create backyard habitats with an emphasis on urban settings to help create a network of sustainable habitats providing wildlife in developed areas with safe places to find food, shelter and areas to raise young. He and his wife's property is a registered backyard habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. Eric's illustrations are in private collections in many countries and throughout the United States. His media of choice is graphite, but, he also works extensively with colored pencil and ink.