creodonts vs tapir baby

updating you now, I have just come up with this comp for the creodont that is about 80% finished.  I think I will give them some “flair” in the form of stripes or facial coloration or leopard stripes…any suggestions?

This is a preliminary sketch for a painting I am working on.  It is a Paleo-reconstruction of a scene from the Cenozoic which will focus on predation among a few common mammals of that time.

This crazy creature is actually an ancestral female tapir attempting to shield her young from marauding carnivores.  (Tapirs are alive today and are so cool to check out at a zoo!)  Surrounding her curiously and opportunistically will be a few Creodonts.  Note:  there are no creodonts at zoos, nor on our planet, and you should be grateful.  They were the dominant predator in North America for many millions of years; they might have hunted in packs and behaved much like the cooperative hyenas of today, but might not have.  One interesting thing that we do know is that Creodonts didn’t have much in the way of stereo vision, so that would have affected their hunting style and approach…hmmm, how should I translate that into this depiction?

Each of these have left fossilized tracks in stone in Whatcom county, in Washington state, and this painting will be for a display for Western Washington University.  I am still deciding on the coat for the Creodonts, so any suggestions are welcome!