Miragaia is a Late Jurassic era stegosaurid found in the Lourinhã Formation, a fossil rich area, in western Portugal. Miragaia is a somewhat strange dinosaur in that it has a much longer neck than all other stegosaurids (Stegosaurus has 12 neck vertebrae whereas Miragaia had 17). It is also a mysterious dinosaur because the back half of the only “full” skeleton that has been found was destroyed by a road. There are a few theories of what this creature truly looked like, it may have had more spikes along the tail and shoulder spikes like the Kentrosaurus, or it may have had more plates running down its back and no shoulder spikes like a Stegosaurus. The verdict is still out. I went with the spiky look because a similar species, Dacentrurus, has been found in England in a Late Jurassic fossil formation and it had more spikes along its back.
I was recently in Portugal for vacation and went to Lourinhã to check out their museum. While the museum had moved most of it’s better fossils to a nearby Dinosaur Park outside of town, I learned a lot about the local dinosaurs. I felt I needed to paint a picture of this very strange looking dinosaur for my series. This piece is painted in oils on masonite and is 7″ x 5″.
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Recently, Owen’s work has been included in such annuals as Spectrum 23 and 26, The Society of Illustrators 54, Illustration West 44 and 52, Infected By Art vol. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and the Art Renewal Center’s 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 Annual Salons. He lives with his wife, Sarah, their daughter, Dagmar, and their black cat, Mim.