Seeing Kong: Skull Island, plus all the "realistic Skull Crawler" illustrations floating around in the community inspired me to tackle something else in this territory: a full menagerie of grounded skull island creature designs. The concept is essentially to illustrate a plausible ecosystem of megafauna for a hypothetical south pacific island. I made the mistake of doing these all in the same day so the quality got worse with each illustration (I went Kong, V. rex, Meiolania, snake) and the Photoshop cleanup is a real hack-job. I might clean it up and re-upload at some point.
The idea behind the island is based heavily on New Caledonia, Komodo Island and the Galapagos Islands. An ancient slice of Gondwana isolated from mainstream continental evolution populated by holdover taxa and sea-drift arrivals. Each animal also exists to take the role of an animal from the original 1933 King Kong film. From left-to-right in this illustration are:
A giant matsoiid snake, takes the role of the "Elasmosaurus" from the 1933 film
Kong himself (a relative of the giant stem-Orangutan Gigantopithecus)
The "V. Rex" (Varanus rex) an enormous monitor lizard close to Megalania and the Komodo dragon, take the role of the tyrannosaur
An giant skull island species of Meiolania, a large stem-turtle from Australia and New Caledonia, takes the role of the stegosaur
Other ideas I had but didn't illustrate included a giant crocodile to fill the role of aquatic predator taken by Brontosaurus in the original film, small arboreal mekosuchine crocodiles, a giant herbivorous iguana, a giant frugivorous monitor lizard, moa-like birds and a Haast's Eagle-like bird.