Something I am passionate about is paleoreconstruction. Its a mouthful, and simply put it means putting clues together to create a vision of what a moment in time might have looked like from the deep past. For recreating an animal from prehistory, we of course use fossils, but many other data are useful, including living analogues, or animals that have a similar lifestyle or that share an ancestor.
I really love the cenozoic, the period when the dinosaurs, (except birds!), died off and mammals and other creatures evolved to incredible forms and sizes to fill the ecological niches left wide open. I was fortunate to be the illustrator chosen to render scenes based on tracks and fossil prints from an immense and wonderful landslide. Called the Racehorse Creek slide in Whatcom county, WA, it exposed a huge area of sandstone that revealed tracks and plant impressions from a time when Washington was tropical and what now are snow capped volcanoes was instead a huge flat estuary.
Here are some of my illustrations. Visit my blogposts for more details and the amazing relevance of the gastornis prints found there, I have a number of posts just about the gastornis and many of the discoveries made recently. The short version of it is that a 7 foot flightless bird that weighed 400 pounds was most likely a frugivore.
Get to know the past, and imagine it!