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Skull Island Critters by Tomozaurus Skull Island Critters by Tomozaurus
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.
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:iconrandomosaur:
Randomosaur Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017
I echo the suggestions to illustrate your other ideas. I'd especially love to see the giant iguana and frugivorous monitor.
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:iconmajingojira:
majingojira Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017
I do hope that one day you find the time to do the other speculated creatures. 

Because I keep thinking about how the fauna would work and how the ecosystem would function, and the hints are so tantalizing! 
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:icontrendorman:
Trendorman Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
This is an Amazing idea! I would Love to See more of this Skull island! Maybe even a short movie or animation!
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:iconrhysdylan01:
RhysDylan01 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well if "V. Rex" really was a giant varanid lizard then it would have a huge advantage when battling Kong in the movies, varanids are venomous 
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2017  Student General Artist
That'd be a pretty interesting dynamic imo!
Maybe Anne looks after him while he's been inflicted with venom, which leads to their bond.
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:iconosmatar:
Osmatar Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017   Traditional Artist
I love this! I really want a King Kong movie based on these designs. Everyone has seen dinosaurs of all sorts by this point, but extinct Cenozoic giant reptiles get no movie representation. With those horns, Meiolania could even double as the Styracosaurus from a deleted scene. With the Varanus vs. Kong fight there would even be a fun nod to old monster movies that used real reptiles with latex fins and horns glued on them for dinosaurs. 
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Student General Artist
Thank you Mette! I actually in part intended the varanid as a reference to those films you mention.
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:iconosmatar:
Osmatar Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017   Traditional Artist
Cool! You know what we need a big budget film version of, though? A fight between megalania and Quinkana, in that style.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Student General Artist
Oh yeah, no arguments here!
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:icongmcpaints:
GMCPaints Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
not bad but the dinosaurs are a part of skull island, it's what makes it king kong.
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:iconlediblock2:
Lediblock2 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017
"Grounded Skull Island"

We had this. Twice. Peter Jackson's, then Skull Island Reborn on this site.

Replacing everything that made the first movie distinct with generic Pleistocene megareptiles doesn't make it better. In any way.
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:iconstanleyrabbid:
StanleyRabbid Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Generic" and "Pleistocene megareptiles" do not belong together in the same sentence.
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:iconlediblock2:
Lediblock2 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2017
Not when the original had motherfuckin' dinosaurs.
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:iconstanleyrabbid:
StanleyRabbid Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What does that have to do with what I said?
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:iconrhysdylan01:
RhysDylan01 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's not a about making it better it's about proposing a scenario in which these fictional organisms can be realisticly possible. It's just for fun so don't take it too seriously 
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:icontrendorman:
Trendorman Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Oh come On Ledi, Don't you think this is cool? It's different than any other Skull Island, with no dinosaurs. I like Dinosaurs but this is just cool all together
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:iconpraearcturus:
praearcturus Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  New Deviant
i don't think 'making it better' is the point. it's just fan-art, really.
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:iconkirbyniferousregret:
KirbyniferousRegret Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Ignore him, he's just insecure.
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:iconzimzilla99:
Zimzilla99 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2017
you are aware there was a giant snake in the 1976 king kong and the giant sea snake from king kong escapes 1968 so you really don't need to replace the role of the Elasmosaurus I assume your ignorant of this fact
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:iconsekley:
Sekley Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
What explains Kong being the last of his species in your AU?
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Edited Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wondering if other large mammals can take the place of the big herbivores as well. If there's a massive primate, surely even large ungulates could work? Love the fact that you're gonna include so many flightless birds and hell, I think even the bestiary for Skull Island includes a number of flightless birds. 
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student General Artist
The paln was for there to be no mammals other than Kong and the skull islanders. The idea was that Skull Island would be a hyper exaggurated version of New Zealand, New Caledonia or Norfolk Island, in which there are almost no endemic mammals, and in the past were inhabited by large birds and reptiles.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I guess Kongs are so huge because of the lack of other mammals?
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Student General Artist
Actually my thoughts were that the apes were originally brought to the island by the skull islanders, as they worshipped these animals. Then when they realised they could offer some protection from the giant reptiles that inhabited Skull Island, the small population on hand was selectively bred for size and strength with Kong as the end product.
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:iconkingofpangea:
KingofPangea Featured By Owner Edited Mar 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
 Funny enough, IIRC, a similar backstory was used for Kong's species in the 2005 remake. Apparently, his species, as well as animals like guar and rats were introduced to Skull Island while the lost civilization was being formed.
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:iconrandomosaur:
Randomosaur Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
My Skull Island tyrannosaur substitute is a giant monitor too, though of more basal descent, being in a different genus.

Fun fact: King Kong was originally going to feature a real fight between a real gorilla and Komodo dragon, which is why I chose a monitor lizard for mine.
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student General Artist
That is actually the same reason I did, part of it at least. I read up on the history of the film before doing these and found that out, I was originally toying with the idea of a Quinkana-like land croc.
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:icontcr11050:
tcr11050 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang it, I was going to say that.
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:iconlediblock2:
Lediblock2 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Would be interesting to see the other ideas you had in mind.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is really nice. I hope those other ideas are going to get illustrated too.
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:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'd love to see those other ideas, this is great!
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:iconhublerdon:
HUBLERDON Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Do the others please!
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:icondeinonychusempire:
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Varanus rex... Very clever.
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Professional General Artist
Can I use this for my Spec Evo Challenge video, even though you have no Skull crawler in it =)
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student General Artist
Sure, go for it.
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:iconjacobaryonyx:
JacoBaryonyx Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Do these appear in the movie I haven't seen it yet
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:iconthetherizinosaur:
TheTherizinosaur Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  New Deviant
They are from the 1933 one
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:iconjacobaryonyx:
JacoBaryonyx Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Oh ok
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:iconeliteraptor2015:
EliteRaptor2015 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
I take it you actually liked the film, Tom? ;)

Also, these are interesting choices to go for a plausible Skull Island
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:icontyrannotitan333:
Tyrannotitan333 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay I'd really love to see you illustrate these other creatures you came up with if you ever got the chance, they sound quite interesting (though I do wonder what the giant crocodile is related to?). Also, really clever turning V. rex into Varanus rex. ;)
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:icontomozaurus:
Tomozaurus Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student General Artist
It was going to be a large Quinkana-like mekosukine, capable of hunting on both land and in the water as to fit the role of the "brontosaur" in the original film. If I were to illustrate any others it'd be that and maybe the giant eagle.
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:iconhellraptor:
Hellraptor Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice work :)
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:icondinosaurguy10:
Dinosaurguy10 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017   General Artist
really noice
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