The Creator of Paleo Pals®
Chenoa Ellinghaus is an inquisitive natural history illustrator from the greater Denver area, and creator of striking fossil reconstructions. Picking through paleontological data, like a detective, she strives to capture accuracy as well as a fresh approach to expressing the myriad of anatomical possibilities hidden within the evidence.
With a BFA in Illustration from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, over nine years experience in the natural sciences, and a lifetime of fossil collecting, Chenoa approaches her work from artistic, biological, and geological angles. Her love for ancient life, starting in her youth, has evolved into a fascination and passion for the study of bizarre prehistoric invertebrates.
Today, her artistic merits are channeled through her Paleoartist in Residence position at the Morrison Natural History Museum, bringing the past to the surface.
“I aspired to create Paleo Pals® because there is a clear informational gap in science education. Prehistoric biology is rarely taught in schools, and even if it is, there is a brief focus on dinosaurs exclusively. As a museum worker, some of my favorite subjects are unusual creatures from prehistory. I thought that if there was some way to bring these remarkable animals to the public eye, this effort could inspire a new generation of paleontologists. What better way than making huggable life restorations of these astonishing creatures! By encouraging educational play, Paleo Pals® facilitates learning and critical thinking skills for all ages.”