Year: May 2023 / June 2023

Organization: Lorenzo Peter Castelletto / AMP Miramare / WWF Italia

Country: Italy


During last March and April I’ve been working on a large commission for the wildlife photography exhibition @dentro_e_fuori_dallacqua.

The challenge was to portray 31 marine/tidal organisms and to place them in a couple of tables that described visually the shore environment with both high and low tide.

In this first post dedicated to this series you’ll find the two complete tables.
In the table the species are not to scale.

The project @dentro_e_fuori_dallacqua is a format by wildlife photographer @lorenzopetercastelletto_photos, its aim is to show the biodiversity of the tidal environments and more in general of the biodiversity that lives on the line between the watery world and the world out of water.

The exhibition is promoted by @wwfitalia, @ampmiramare, @ogs_it and it is exposed at the central station of Trieste until June 11th 2023.


Year: March 2023 / Ongoing

Organization: Dinoparke Lourinha

Country: Portugal

I LEFT MY HEART IN PIKERMI – “Honorable mention” at X CIID 2022, Lourinhã.

You can’t help falling in love with what you’re studying.
This was the feeling that I wanted to give this painting.
The title came naturally.

Passion, and dedication, are two feelings that both paleontologists and paleoartists know very well.
We both spend plenty of time studying a certain species, or an environment, or a period of time that we create a unique and special bound to the subject of our studies.

While working on this painting, I felt something like that for extinct felids and for the Miocene. The more I studied these subjects, the more I was forging a connection to them, leaving a “piece of my heart” in faded places that only my mind of paleoartist could reach, seeing wonderful creatures that now belong to deep time.

Working on this painting have been like a walk in the park, colors, shapes, atmospheres, all flown out of my pen naturally, as I’ve been preparing for this task all these years.

I am so happy and grateful to have received an award at the @museulourinha Paleoart contest, carrying on the long-running tradition and profession of artists that depict the story of the life on earth.

Now part of the work is done, let’s see what other wonders this painting has in store.


Year: October 2022

Organization: Montevarchi

Country: Italy

INFERNUM – “Honorable mention” at “Premio Italiano di Paleoarte” 2022, Montevarchi.

The underworld in many cultures is a place of sorrow and desolation, where the souls of the dead wander suffering.

Apparently this concept and this scenario could seem very distant from paleontology and paleoart.
In some cases though, studying some circumstances of death and fossilization can remind us of the concept of the underworld, or as it was called in latin “Infernum”.

This is the case of the fossil site know as Bolt’s Farm, in South Africa.
The Pit 23 of Bolt’s Farm is what is know in paleontology as “Cave Traps”. A Cave Trap is a natural cave (usually vertical or semi-vertical) where animals enter to find shelter or attracted by carcasses (or they fall by chance) and they get trapped there, because they can’t leave.

In the Pit 23, three skeletons of Dinofelis barlowi and a dozen of Papio robinsoni, plus the ones of other primates, have been found, locked in time, trapped in the hell of a cave trap.

Being trapped in such natural caves must have been a dramatic experience.
Animal would have died out of starvation, or killed by the bigger predators they were forced by the circumstances to share the narrow chamber.

In the scene, one of the baboons have been killed and slaughtered by the hungry Dinofelis. The other baboon is eating an Agama lizard as it was a sandwich. One of the few food resources available in the cave. But it won’t save the baboon from death.

The Dinofelis is manaced by a spitting cobra, in defensive posture, also trapped with the other animals.

This terrible scene is what a viewer could observe inside a cave trap, during the last moments of those poor “souls” imprisoned in that Infernum.

I’ve had the pleasure to participate with this paiting to the second edition of the Paleoart Prize of @museopaleontologicomontevarchi, and had the honor to be awarded as “Honorable mention”. ⭐

Congratulations to all the other partecipants and winners and may Italian Paleoart become more and more great


Year: August 2022

Organization: Lourinhã Paleoart Contest

Country: Portugal

This exhibition has been organized by the GEAL Museu da Lourinha (Portugal) in occasion of the Lourinha Paleoart Prize.
My painting “I Left my Heart in Pikermi” has been awarded with a Honorable Mention in the 2022 Edition of the contest, and was exhibited in the locals of the museum during the summer of 2022, and in the Dinoparque for a thematic exhibition about Cenozoic mammals during the spring of 2023.


Year: April 2022 / October 2022

Organization: Illustraciencia

Country: Spain

This exhibition has been organized by Illustraciencia, a Spanish association that promotes the teaching of wildlife and scientific illustration.

The table represents the physical appearance and some of the behaviour aspects of The Great Indian Hornbill (Buceros bicornis).

The table has been selected with other 40 works, among 528 entries. It has been chosen for accuracy and for the innovative style to divulge science with art.

The 40 selected works have been exposed in the Natural History Museum of Madrid, promoter of the competition, during summer of 2022.


Year: January 2022 / April 2022

Organization: Castilla Y Leon Paleoart Prize

Country: Spain

This exhibition was organized by the Paleontology Museum of Sala de los Infantes, in 2022 in Burgos, Spain.
The paintings exposed were the ones selected for the XIII Castilla y León paleoart Prize, one of the most renowned paleoart competitions.


Year: June 2021

Organization: Lorenzo Peter Castelletto / AMP Miramare / WWF Italia

Country: Italy

The “Microceano” exhibition (literally micro-ocean) is an art exhibition promoted by WWF Italy, OGS and organized by Marine Protected Area Miramare, in 2021, in Trieste, Italy.
The aim of this exhibition was to educate the audience about the diversity and the importance of plancton for the health of the marine ecosystems.


Year: June 2021

Organization: Italian Paleontology Society (SPI)

Country: Italy

This exhibition was organized by the Italian Paleontology Society in 2021.
The aim of the exhibition was to provide an overview of some of the contemporary italian paleoartists.
The paintings have been exposed during 2021 Paleodays congress that took place in Asti, Italy.
The paintings have also been included in the exhibition book, published by the Italian Paleontology Society in 2021.

If you are interested in using this image for your projects and works you can contact me and we can discuss about licensing.

All images © Simone Zoccante 2018-2023. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Simone Zoccante.