Not too long ago I had another artist friend (Thanks Doug Moomey) let me in on a conversation that he had with artist Burneta Venosdel .
They were discussing the difference in animal anatomy considering what part of the country they were from. The discussion being about buffalo but it pertained to all animals. They adapt to the area that they developed in whether it be in the heat of the desert or the cold of Antarctica .
The discussion brought up the point that you had better know the environment from which you are depicting whatever animal you are doing in something as little noticed as the ears.
Think of the Elephant and those large sweeping ears or the water buffalo then think of the pika or tiny white arctic fox (those two are probably the exception because of the intensity of their hearing necessary for hunting in those extreme areas or the fact that they have to rely on their hearing for predators. Another thing to consider, what has developed in order to survive predators or provide food.
The entire subject was concerning the modern day buffalo and the fact that they were almost completed destroyed but thanks to people like the Goodnight family they survived. The southern herd developed around the Fort Sill area and the northern herd that survived and the buffalo you see in the Yellow Stone area were imported in from the Alberta area. Therefore you are looking at adaptation of the same animal in different ways due to the cold or heat. The southern herd having larger ears and the northern having smaller ears in order that the body heat not escape.
So not only do you have to make sure your animal is a particular age or sex you have to take into consideration the area that you are depicting that animal in...for instance the moose are fairly small below the 65th parallel but above they can stand almost 8 feet at the shoulder.
Thanks for dropping in...........