research is often based on reconstructions (Benton, 2005). Initial descriptions
of new species or specimens often include photographs or line drawings of the
actual fossils, made by the paleontologist. In a further step, reconstructions
can be produced, often together with an artist, by adding missing parts and
restoring deformed portions. Reconstructions like these are more clear and
appealing, because they omit information that might be confusing at first sight.
Generally, the paleoartist is not a paleontologist, and does not have the
necessary knowledge about the extinct animals and environments he or she must
portray (Ghilardi and Ribeiro, 2010). In order to prepare an accurate
paleoreconstruction, it is thus important that the basic scientific data is
compiled and simplified by the paleontologist supervising the work. Without a
solid scientific knowledge the paleoartist will support him- or herself on
deduction, and the artwork will be less consistent and could be more erroneous (Ghilardi
et al., 2007) and, therefore, lead to mistakes.