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Colouring Palorchestes: What colours would you choose?

Palorchestes needs a makeover.

Work on Sascha Martin’s Time Machine has moved into the colouring phase. It means the book is getting close to publication, but more importantly, it means you have a chance to have your say on one of our prehistoric creatures, and how it should appear in the book.

Imagining Colours for Long Dead Animals

Most of the animals you’ll meet in Sascha Martin’s Time Machine are extinct species, and everything we know about them comes from their fossils (at least, that is, until Sascha brings his latest show and tell to school). They’re so long dead, we can only guess at the colour of their feathers and fur. It’s a pity …

But it does mean we can have a lot of fun with those colours.

Palorchestes and the Illustrator

Illustrator Manuela Pentangelo has finished the drawings, both the ones you’ll see when you open each page, and the hidden drawings that are part of our interactivity. All that remains for her to do is colour everything in, and Manuela’s busily selecting colours now.

Manuela is putting out the call for readers to suggest what colours she should use on one of our prehistoric creatures. The creature’s name is Palorchestes azeal, and this is what it looks like in the book.

Pleistocene megafauna Palorchestes azeal in Sascha Martin's Time Machine by John Arthur Nichol. Drawing by Manuela Pentangelo.

You don’t have to use Facebook to have your say. Add a comment below, or use the contact form here, and I’ll pass on your suggestions to Manuela.

About Palorchestes

Palorchestes weighed 500kg and was two metres long, with a flexible trunk that resembled the nose of a tapir. Sometimes, because of this, Palorchestes is called a marsupial tapir.

As big as it was, Palorchestes was a harmless vegetarian who probably lived alone. It would have eaten coarse leaves and branches, tree roots, and perhaps even the bark of trees.

Its powerful forearms were longer than its legs, with curved, 12cm long claws for digging roots or ripping bark. Its long, thin tongue was like a giraffe’s, and helped it to grasp and manipulate leaves and branches.

Palorchestes was related to modern wombats, and was a kind of cousin to Diprotodon, another giant of Australia’s Pleistocene (and one you’ll also meet in Sascha Martin’s Time Machine).

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John Arthur Nichol 2018