Vertebrate Paleontology

Mark A. Klingler Bio

Mark A.
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080

Mark A. Klingler is an award-winning Scientific Illustrator at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA. He is renowned for his reconstructions of fossil organisms based on museum specimens collected around the globe. Klingler’s research and practice in illustration has played a definitive role in the seminal publications of new discoveries published by the museum’s researchers.

Klingler works side-by-side with scientists to develop their research into accurate visual representations of what long-extinct creatures may have looked like in life. These reconstructions aid the scientists in piecing together concepts beyond morphology, opening doors to fields such as eco-interaction and group dynamics—aspects that cannot be determined from fossils alone. The resulting collaborative work has appeared in authoritative international publications such as Science, Nature, New Scientist, National Geographic, and Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology as well as in worldwide museum exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, newspapers, and websites. Groundbreaking discoveries of species for which Klingler has led the reconstruction process include Eomaia (earliest known placental mammal), Hadrocodium (the “paper clip” mammal), Laonastes (a rediscovered living fossil), Castorocauda (earliest known swimming mammal), Sinodelphys (earliest known land mammal), Gansus (earliest known modern bird), and Puijila (missing link in the evolution of pinnipeds).

Klingler earned his BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989 and a certificate in Painting & Sculpture from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, in 1997. His honors include the Lanzendorf Prize for outstanding achievement in paleontological art and a solo invitational show at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. He illustrated the award-winning Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, depicting more than 130 common northeastern species, and is currently working on the next book in the series for a major city on the East Coast migratory byway.

Klingler is committed to nature education and seeks out collaborations that allow him to combine his interests in nature education with his work in the field of illustration. He is an active member and popular lecturer for such professional organizations as the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and the American Botanical Society. He regularly presents new reconstruction and illustration techniques at international scientific conferences. Klingler is also an instructor and mentor for museums, schools, community groups, and botanical illustration programs. His personal research focuses on the life cycle of the rare silver-spotted ghost moth (Sthenopis argenteomaculatus), and his article on a new rearing technique is in process.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is ranked as one of the top five natural history museums in the country. The museum maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. More information is available at

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