Seems I've been on an elephant kick lately. And why not? Our friends from the mighty order Proboscidea rank as some of the largest, more awe inspiring land mammals to have ever lived.
So first off is this on site painting I did at the Field Museum in Chicago, which I had the good fortune of visiting for the New Year (hi Kat!!!). This is Loxodonta africana, the African Bush Elephant, the largest living land animal on the Earth today. It measures in at around 20-24 feet in length, 10-11 feet at the shoulder and weighs in at a scale bending 7-10 tons. African elephants sport large tusks, both in males and females. They are a remarkably intelligent species, showing advanced skills in reasoning, learning and memory. Females band together, living in matriarchal herds. Males leave the herd after adolescence, grouping into bachelor herds, and then striking out on their own at full adulthood. African Elephants rank as 'near threatened' according to the IUCN. It won't go extinct tomorrow, but efforts must continue to be made to conserve these amazing animals.
In addition, here is a digital rough of my next painting, the hunting of the Mammuthus primigenius, the Wooly Mammoth. Final to come shortly.