Saturday, 3 December 2011

map of the supercontinent Pangaea

"Our world long ago, all the lands joined together
When first appeared beasties of fur and of feather"

This is a map of the world as it may have looked around 240 million years ago in the middle of the Triassic period. Drawn with pen and ink, coloured and textured digitally.

Two massive lands Gondwana and Laurasia had just bumped into each other, creating the Appelation Mountains and forming the supercontinent Pangaea.

Although there are other maps of Pangaea around, I could not find any illustrated in an old world style with monsters roaming the land and seas. So I just had to have a go at making one myself. Yep... nerd. I know.

Please note, I am an artist not a scientist. Although I did a fair bit of research to get it as right as I could, there is still plenty of artistic license. For instance, I made up all the rivers - sorry, I just couldn't find reference which told me where the real ones were. A few of the mountains could well be wrong too. And that volcano in between South America and Africa, well it just looked good there. So to any time travellers out there, this map is not to be used for navigation, it is decoration only!

Meet the beasties...

The animals featured are all carefully based on life that would have been kicking around within ten million years or so of that time. I intentionally didn't label them on the map, as I think leaving the creatures a little vague and generic aids imagination. Further more, when these creatures actually existed they didn't have titles such as Saurisichisan or Amonite, instead they would have thought of each other as 'the scaley thing with big teeth it is better not to go near' or 'the tasty little furred critter' or maybe 'the giant winged one who poos from the sky'.

But for the curious, and for a closer look at all the detail going on, here is a list of what the beasties are meant to represent. (You are allowed to scroll quickly through this bit. I am being a little self indulgent)

Cynodont illustration








Helicoprion - alas I drew its mouth
swirl upside down. Whoops!


The Triassic plants featured are fern trees, ferns, conifers, giant club mosses, quillworts and cycads.

As you can see this artwork has an extraordinary amount of texture and detail. It is designed to look its best when printed at poster sizes. It would be ideal educational artwork for a classroom or decoration for a kids room.

R :)


  1. Amonites are my favourite fossils, would always hope to find one in lyme regis, but never did. Sam did manage to find a geode thing when we went there on holiday last April though :)

  2. Gorgeous details on this, and the colour is beautiful. I especially like the little trotting Cynognathian.

  3. Great detail - and I think you've captured the olde world map style of 'here there be monsters' too. :)


  4. Love all the little details and fantastic Olde World Map treatment.

  5. pooooor idiots!!! Evolution is a joke i will offer you any amount of money to prove any field of your so called science!!! Jude Wilkinson

  6. you have to have help to be this dumb!! i mean you really couldn't do it on your own!

  7. I notice I have had some comments from a creationist. An angry one too!

    I welcome to my blog persons of all cultural backgrounds and belief sets. Comments regarding my work, including thoughts, concerns, ideas, or constructive criticism, whether positive or negative, are always encouraged.

    Just keep it polite and friendly from now on, okay?

    Thanks, Richard :)

  8. I agree with Jude. This world was created by the one true God Vishnu, the Preserver of the universe. Anyone trying to prove otherwise is a fool and will be banished to Naraka by Shiva the destroyer.

  9. Amazing map !!! I love it
    i wish I could afford to buy a poster :(

  10. Hi Richard, I love your illustration! I've finally turned to the dark side, and have an iphone; I couldn't resist, and ordered one of your lovely phone cases! Having had a life long interest in paleontology, I can't wait to use it. :)

    1. Hello Laura. Thanks for the kind comment. I hope you enjoy your new phone cover, and if by some chance you get transported back to the Triassic you can be comforted by the knowledge you have a map!

  11. Amazing map!! I love it too!! You could be draw the others paleogeograpics!! Please!! (I'm a geology student and I'm a nerd too jeje)

  12. Hi Richard
    Iam glad to see your illustration on Pangea and details you have shown to built this entire map... I am a retired geologist and now planning to work for educating the children in my native place Dhangiari a small village in Kasauli Hill in Himachal Pradesh state in Indian Himalayas
    I really found your illustration very interesting to educate the children about the single landmass and the life which flourished therein
    I reuqest you to make following changes
    1st China was not as big as you have shown in the map and majority of it was either Tibet and Monogolia
    2nd I want India to be much bolder so that children can identify with the place

    I want to get one 5x5 for my education center

  13. Do you have other maps on Early life or Tethys Sea or Alps or Himalayas or Wooly elephant or origin of earth or solar system
    please inform me