Mauricio Antón Ortuzar (born 1961 in Bilbao, Spain) is a paleoartist and illustrator specialized in the scientific reconstruction of extinct life, well known for his influential paintings of hominids, extinct carnivores and other vertebrate fossil groups. His works illustrate a great number of books, scientific papers, private collections and museums in many parts of the world. He currently works in association with the Natural Science Museum in Madrid.
Life and careerNorthern Spain during the ice age by Mauricio Antón, 2008
As a teenager in Caracas (Venezuela) in the 1970s, Antón became fascinated with the skeleton of the saber-tooth cat Smilodon fatalis on exhibition at the local museum. Ever since, he has been working and improving his techniques to bring fossils alive, being especially interested in felids, hominids and other vertebrates. As he puts it in one of his books (El secreto de los fósiles) “It is the responsibility of the scientific paleo-illustrator to make sure that his images rigorously transmit the knowledge that the paleontologists have gathered from specific extinct species.”
To do this he gathers data from extant species, travelling the world extensively, working hands on fossils, dissecting specimens donated by zoos, researching extinct species with specialists and using extant ecosystems as a basis for the reconstruction of past ones. He has been an advisor on paleobiology, biomechanics, animal locomotion, and habitats of extinct vertebrates for various media (BBC, National Geographic Society, Natural History, Discovery Channel, etc.)... ...read more